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State fares poorly by the numbers

Let’s look at statistics that indicate how Wisconsin is faring.

Job Growth:

• Wisconsin is ninth out of the 10 Midwestern states in private sector job growth. Only Illinois ranks lower. Net job growth is a strong measure of the state’s economy. (CES)

• Wisconsin is 32nd in all job growth from 2011 through 2013. (BLS)

• A job analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal shows Wisconsin, in 2010, ranked 16th in private sector job growth under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. At the end of 2013, Wisconsin ranked 36th. (CEW)

• Wisconsin ranks 45th in projected job growth. (Forbes)

• Wisconsin placed 2nd in job losses during the month of February— 9,500 jobs in the public and private sector were lost. Only North Carolina had more job losses. (BLS)

• Wisconsin has seen a 0.08 percentage point drop of small business start-ups in the last three years. For entrepreneurial growth, Wisconsin is one of the worst. The lack of start-ups in Wisconsin is concerning because these are the businesses that create the most jobs. (Kauffman study)

• Wisconsin is 48th in new business creation. (Kauffman Foundation)

Personal Income:

• Wisconsin’s annual growth in personal income, on average, trails most of the nation and all Midwestern states except Illinois.

• Wisconsin is 35th out of 50 states in income growth.

Minimum wage:

• Wisconsin’s minimum wage is $7.25. Seventy-five percent of Wisconsinites favor raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Go.v Scott Walker says efforts to raise the minimum wage are a political stunt.

Health Care Coverage:

• About 77,000 Wisconsinites lost health insurance coverage through Badger care (Medicaid) at the end of March. Gov. Walker refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid coverage. A study published by researchers from Harvard and the City University of New York predicts 139 to 671 Wisconsinites will die prematurely this year because they do not have health insurance.

Children of Color:

• The home situation, educational skills, and income are three of the 12 key indicators measured in a study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.”

• Wisconsin’s African-American children rank 50th, and Wisconsin is tied with Michigan and Mississippi for the worst in achievement for these children. Asian Americans rank 37th and Latino children rank 17th.

The above statistics are unacceptable. Clearly, the people of Wisconsin deserve better.