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Walker administration puts out quarterly jobs numbers after 27 News story on delay of release

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development (DWD) delayed the release of a key report on state job growth until a 27 News story aired which highlighted the delay on Thursday.

New Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) numbers show Wisconsin added 28,653 private sector jobs from the end of March 2013 through March 2014.  That represents a growth rate of 1.3 percent.

DWD normally releases the QCEW numbers at least a month ahead of when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases the full QCEW report for all fifty states.  That BLS report is due out on September 18th.  DWD's delayed release came at a time Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) is highlighting another set of jobs numbers to promote his reelection.

For over two years, Governor Walker and DWD officials swore by the QCEW numbers, while dismissing the monthly BLS numbers known as the Current Employment Statistics (CES) as inaccurate. That's because QCEW statistics are based on reports from 96% of state employers, while the CES numbers rely on a sample of about 3.5% of employers.

A DWD press release dated June 6, 2013 reads:  "As DWD has repeatedly pointed out, the monthly jobs estimates (CES) are flawed and a poor indicator of the true economic outlook in Wisconsin.  Thus, any study or ranking using the monthly estimates should be viewed with increased scrutiny."

Ironically, it is exactly those monthly numbers the Governor's campaign is now using to tout the fact that Wisconsin's private sector job growth ranks third in the Midwest from July 2013 to July 2014.   The most recent QCEW numbers show Wisconsin ranks 10th out of 10 Midwest states for private sector job growth.

"This is exactly the same way that Politifact does it, they look at quarterly numbers when they come out and then, if you look at Politifact each month they use the CES, the Current Economic Statistics to get up to date, because as you all know, QCEW numbers come out six months after the fact," Gov. Walker told reporters in Green Bay on Wednesday.
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