One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@GovWalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.
Wisconsin Added Over 62,000 Jobs in 2011-2012
After losing 134,000 jobs in the four years prior to 2011, actual jobs data show Wisconsin gained over 62,000 jobs in 2011-2012. This is great news for the people of our state because it means that 62,000 more moms, dads, and grandparents have jobs and are able to make ends meet. Whether it's increased wages, increased manufacturing jobs, increased revenue, or a lower unemployment rate, all economic indicators show Wisconsin is creating jobs. We're headed in the right direction, and I'll continue to place my focus on jobs every single day as your Governor.
· After losing 134,000 jobs, Wisconsin gained 62,072 private sector jobs in the last two years. (QCEW)
· The private sector job gains are the best two-year gains under any Wisconsin Governor in over a decade. (QCEW/UI Admin Data)
· Wisconsin created more manufacturing jobs in the last two years than in either of the last two Governor's terms. (QCEW/UI Admin Data)
o Manufacturing job growth was strong at 4.4 percent from December 2010 to December 2012. (QCEW/UI Admin Data)
· In 2012, Wisconsin had the largest growth in construction jobs in over a decade. (QCEW/UI Admin Data)
· Whether increased revenue collections, lower Unemployment Insurance claims, or more new business formations, all economic indicators show Wisconsin is creating jobs.
o Initial weekly unemployment insurance claims are at pre-recession levels. (DWD)
o Wisconsin revenue collections are growing with the largest increases projected in individual income. (DOR)
o New business formation grew by 8.2 percent in April 2013 compared to 2012. (DFI)
· Wages by private employers grew by 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, up to $26 billion from $24.5 billion. (QCEW/UI Admin Data)
State of Emergency Declared in Bayfield and Douglas Counties
On Wednesday, I declared a state of emergency in response to a forest fire that destroyed more than 8,100 acres in Bayfield and Douglas Counties. I surveyed the area yesterday along with Adjutant General Donald Dunbar of the Wisconsin National Guard and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. The damage was widespread, and many of our fellow Wisconsinites lost their homes and other property.
Tonette and I send our prayers and concern to all those who were victims of this disaster. Thankfully, though, no injuries have been reported. I have directed state agencies to assist those whose property was damaged or lost due to the fire. The State of Wisconsin stands with them, and we will do everything we can to help them recover and rebuild from this forest fire.
I want to thank our first responders, including fire fighters from 37 fire departments who saved 77 structures, including 42 homes. I also would like to thank the Wisconsin National Guard, the Department of Natural Resources, the States of Minnesota and Michigan, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Province of Ontario for all of their assistance in battling this blaze.
Forward Manufacturing Roundtable
On Monday, I stopped at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for a Forward Manufacturing Roundtable Discussion with area manufacturing leaders. Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Cabinet Secretaries, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, City of Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College officials also joined in the conversation. You can watch a video of the roundtable here.
Roundtables are an opportunity to have an open discussion about Wisconsin's business climate and receive feedback on how we can help manufacturers grow and attract more business to the state. Since 2011, numerous incentives and reforms have been passed including the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit and the Relocated Business Tax Credit.
We are receiving positive feedback on the results of our reforms. Last week, Chief Executive Magazine announced Wisconsin moved up to 17th in the "Best/Worst States for Business" survey. We've improved in the ranking each of the last three years. This week, the Small Business Survey ranked Wisconsin among the 10 easiest states to establish a business. The survey draws on responses from over 7,000 small business owners around the country.
Another way we can foster an entrepreneurial spirit in Wisconsin is through the "Revolution Labs" program that was announced this week. "Revolution Labs" is a collaborative project of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) through the Transform Milwaukee initiative.
The program will connect five startups with a team of Milwaukee-based entrepreneurs who will provide hands-on business model training and mentorship. Each startup that successfully completes the program will receive a $10,000 grant. A pilot program is slated to run June 1 through August 31 and will be managed by VETransfer. VETransfer is a nonprofit organization that runs the VictorySpark accelerator program for veterans who want to start their own business. You can learn more about Revolution Labs here.
Encouraging small business growth is especially important in Milwaukee as we work to restore the economic vitality of the area. My focus is always on helping people create jobs around the state. Getting people back to work and helping them provide for their families will not only move them towards greater freedom and prosperity but will also move our state forward in a positive direction.
Armed Forces Week
This week is Armed Forces Week, and it is my honor to thank our military personnel, their families, and our veterans for their commitment to our state and to our country.
On Monday morning, I was privileged to attend the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's "Breakfast with the Boss." This is a great time to encourage employers in our state to hire a returning veteran. Not only is it patriotic to hire a vet, it makes good business sense, as they are well trained, disciplined, and devoted. And with the Wisconsin GI Bill, they now have free access to higher education in the state.
Tonight, I will attend a very special event at the 128th Air Refueling Wing to benefit the Fischer House Wisconsin. This is a home to support military and veteran families.
Please join me this week in thanking all who serve and those who served before them.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker