Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jobs Shifting in Wisconsin

Here's a pair of stats that should draw your attention:

"One disturbing trend," Russ Kashian, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, said of the manufacturing decline. Since a May peak in 1998, factory jobs have dropped by 159,900, or 27%.

That means that in 1998, there were ~600,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. Now there are ~425,000.

Kashian also noted that the public sector had a net gain of jobs in the last year....

While Tommy "Stick-It-To-'Em" Thompson and Jim Doyle (and others) have been adding to the State (and local) payrolls for the last 10-15 years, manufacturers have been disappearing, or reducing their employment in this State.

Correlation is not causation, of course. But someone has to PAY for all those public servants and all those regulations they write, and the favorite target has been manufacturers.

There are a number of factors at play. Increased automation has reduced direct-labor needs; offshoring of consumer and light industrial manufacturing has been significant contributor to the trend; and of course, there are the "move-outs": companies which retain US manufacturing operations but NOT in Wisconsin.

Maybe Prof. Kashian could quantify all that.

No comments: