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Report: Summer jobs report 'very questionable'


MADISON (WSAU) Governor Scott Walker apparently took a big gamble when he announced in July that Wisconsin had over half the nation's increase in total jobs in June. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the Republican governor was warned by the Workforce Development department three days in advance that the June job figures were quote, "very questionable" and "suspect." But Walker announced them anyway, and he gave credit to a "rebirth in tourism."

The figures showed that 9,500 of the 18,000 jobs gained nationally in June were from Wisconsin. Walker called it "incredibly good news," at a time when his policies were questioned and six of his party's senators were about to face recall elections in the following month. The announced monthly job numbers are based on a partial survey of Wisconsin's employers, and are adjusted later when the full surveys are complete. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said his office never tried to hide the fact the governor used preliminary numbers in his announcement. And he said they quote, "qualified it appropriately."

As it turned out, the June job numbers were actually understated. Workforce Development officials said the final job increase for June was actually revised upward by about 2,000 jobs. The next month, jobs fell by almost 11,000. And another agency memo quoted by the Journal Sentinel said the June spike was quote, "always suspect." Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca said he thought Walker's numbers were too rosy at the time.