MADISON (WSAU) The Walker administration says the positive job numbers it released a couple weeks ago have been verified by the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the Bureau would not say whether the state is correct.
Governor Walker’s recall election opponent, Tom Barrett, said he doesn’t believe the administration’s claim. And State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said Walker’s people acted illegally by prematurely releasing the data. But the bureau said the state had the right to do what it did. A couple weeks ago, the Republican Walker released data that was sent to Washington for a quarterly report on each state’s job picture. It said that Wisconsin gained over 23,300 jobs for all of 2011.
Workforce development spokesman John Dipko said yesterday that the final federal number was even higher, with a gain of 23,608 jobs. Walker said the data was based on surveys that are more complete than the monthly job estimates which showed that the state lost 34,000 jobs in the last year. And Walker touted the positive numbers in ads for his recall election coming up next Tuesday.
But senior official Rick Clayton of the Bureau of Labor Statistics would not confirm Wisconsin’s data before the scheduled release of its quarterly report. That’s on June 28th – 23 days after the recall election. Democratic chairman Tate cited an order from 2006 from the bureau’s commissioner, claiming the data must be withheld before its national release date because it’s highly sensitive – and it could cause major effects on financial markets. But Clayton says the order does not apply to the quarterly employment census, and states have the right to use it as they wish.