Wisconsin Unemployment Falls; NBC Hypes Job Losses 'Many Blame' on Scott Walker

Despite Wisconsin's unemployment rate being well below the national rate and steadily falling, on Saturday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Ron Allen selectively hyped job losses: "With the protesters serenading Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and urging voters to recall him from office June 5th, the state's job losses add to the list of grievances. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012."

That same Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that Wisconsin's unemployment rate fell from 7.6% to 6.8% in that same time period. Ignoring that reality, Allen featured a sound bite from an unidentified woman who ranted: "No other state has lost jobs like this. Wisconsin alone moved sort of off the rails of the national recovery."

Allen then proclaimed: "Many here blame Governor Walker for the job losses. He took office in January 2011, made deep cuts to balance the budget, and virtually eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers....Policies that brought tens of thousands of protesters to the capital and launched the effort to recall Walker from office."

Allen noted how Walker was "telling a very different story about jobs" – in other words, the truth – and played a campaign ad of Walker explaining: "Today, Wisconsin's unemployment rate, it's the lowest it's been since 2008."

Allen countered the ad by mocking the Governor's job creation efforts:

ALLEN: Walker also promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs in his first term. What is your number of how many jobs you think have been created since the Governor took office?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [WISCONSIN OFFICIAL]: Well, right now, the Governor's created 6,000 jobs since he's taken office.

ALLEN: 6,000. On the way to 250,000?

MAN: This is a marathon, not a sprint. We're going to continue to move forward and we believe that 250,000 jobs is a very attainable goal.

Ominously concluding the report, Allen warned: "Right now, the latest polls show the electorate is almost equally divided about whether the Governor should keep his job and there's only one more major jobs report to come before voters decide the Governor's fate in June. And the number of jobs may well determine the number of votes."

The report was interspersed with left-wing anti-Walker protesters singing and chanting in the state capital.


Here is a full transcript of the April 28 report:

6:39PM ET

LESTER HOLT: Now to the economy, which we learned this week grew at a sluggish rate in the first three months of the year, down slightly from the pace at the end of 2011. And this week, a new report reveals that the state of Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in the country from March 2011 to March 2012. The news coming just a few months before voters there decide whether the state's embattled governor will keep his job or become only the third Governor in U.S. history ever to be recalled from office. We get a report tonight from NBC's Ron Allen in Madison, Wisconsin.

PROTESTERS [SINGING]: Walker won't be governor.

RON ALLEN: With the protesters serenading Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and urging voters to recall him from office June 5th, the state's job losses add to the list of grievances. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No other state has lost jobs like this. Wisconsin alone moved sort of off the rails of the national recovery.

ALLEN: At this job center, Kim Johnson says she lost an administrative position a year ago and has been looking for work ever since.

KIM JOHNSON: In life there are no guarantees, you have to make things happen.

ALLEN: But many here blame Governor Walker for the job losses. He took office in January 2011, made deep cuts to balance the budget, and virtually eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers.

PROTESTERS: This is what democracy looks like!

ALLEN: Policies that brought tens of thousands of protesters to the capital and launched the effort to recall Walker from office. But Walker is telling a very different story about jobs as he fights to keep his own.

SCOTT WALKER: Today, Wisconsin's unemployment rate, it's the lowest it's been since 2008.

ALLEN: Walker also promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs in his first term. What is your number of how many jobs you think have been created since the Governor took office?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [WISCONSIN OFFICIAL]: Well, right now, the Governor's created 6,000 jobs since he's taken office.

ALLEN: 6,000. On the way to 250,000?

MAN: This is a marathon, not a sprint. We're going to continue to move forward and we believe that 250,000 jobs is a very attainable goal.

ALLEN: Right now, the latest polls show the electorate is almost equally divided about whether the Governor should keep his job and there's only one more major jobs report to come before voters decide the Governor's fate in June. And the number of jobs may well determine the number of votes.

PROTESTERS [SINGING]: This house was made for you and me.

ALLEN: Ron Allen, NBC News, Madison.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC