MacIver News Service | December 8, 2012
[Madison, Wisc...] According to recent data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), metropolitan economies across the country are finally rebounding from the recession.
All but one, that is.
The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis market reported the largest over-the-year decrease in metro employment in the nation during 2012 after shedding 5,800 jobs.
And, of the 37 metro areas with annual average employment levels totaling more than 750,000 in 2011, the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis community was the only one to report a decrease in nonfarm employment this year according to BLS data (-0.7 percent).
In Madison--Wisconsin's second-largest city--there has been growth, but not the kind one might expect.
Despite a young, well-educated population, a bevy of technology companies and world-renowned Epic Systems, the Badger State's capital city has been unable to create any sustained private sector growth.
Instead, it is government payrolls that continue to swell despite reforms passed by the state legislature aimed at shrinking the size of government.
BLS data shows that as recently as August, government jobs increased in Madison by 6.3 percent--good for best (growth) in the Midwest.
While communities across Wisconsin continue to rebound through a combination of state and local reforms and overall economic growth, the state's two largest cities are lagging behind.
The next round of BLS employment data for metropolitan areas is due out next year.