Gov. Scott Walker Shrugs Off 10,000 layoff notices in 2015

Jan 06, 2016

Gov. Scott Walker Shrugs Off 10,000 layoff notices in 2015 

It’s a new year, but unfortunately for families in our state, Wisconsin is facing more of the same economic turmoil from the previous year. This week, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced Wisconsin surpassed 10,000 planned layoffs in 2015 as a result of plant closings and economic challenges. When asked about the terrible news, Governor Scott Walker shrugged off the fact that over 10,000 jobs were lost in one year, commenting 
“Notices are one thing, actual jobs are a different thing.”

“It’s an outright shame that our state lost over 10,000 jobs last year and Governor Walker only adds insult to injury for Wisconsin families by dismissing what can only be described as an economic crisis,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said on Wednesday. “Now is not the time for Republican leadership to turn a blind eye to the realities of everyday Wisconsinites. It’s time to reach across the aisle and work with Democrat’s commonsense proposals to improve our state’s economic conditions.”

The 10,104 planned layoffs in 2015 is the highest amount of layoffs in Wisconsin since 2010 and far out-paces the 6,186 workers affected by mass layoffs in 2014. The 2015 total does not include numbers from high profile state layoffs announced by Kraft Heinz and Tyson foods in November of last year. 

The dismal news comes as Wisconsin was most recently ranked a lowly 37th in job creation and households around the state reflect on the misplaced priorities of Republican leadership from the previous year. From Walker’s trainwreck of a presidential campaign to legislative Republicans’ focus on dismantling the Government Accountability Board and changing open records laws, economic development took a backseat in 2015.  

Not understanding the urgency of the economic crisis in Wisconsin has been a hallmark of the Walker Administration since taking power in 2010. Walker failed to add a quarter of a million jobs by 2014 as promised during is 2010 campaign, and his flagship jobs agency Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has been an unmitigated disaster since its inception. Marred by controversial audits highlighting mismanaged funds and a lack of oversight for distributed loans, WEDC has made more headlines for its failures than its job creation successes. 

As average incomes continue to fall and the middle-class continues to shrink in Wisconsin, its incredibly concerning to see a complete and total lack of urgency from Walker and legislative Republicans to help working class families in our state. At best, Republican leadership is too incompetent to understand the current crisis and at worst they’re willingly ignoring the fact that their agenda is actively hurting the Wisconsin economy. 
The time is now for Republicans to open their eyes and work with Democrats to invest in a forward looking agenda that promotes growth, innovation, and opportunity for all Wisconsities. Last month, Senator Jen Shilling unvield the Badger Blueprint in hopes of providing a roadmap for Republican leadership to abandon the failed ideas of the past five years and enbrace an agenda to move Wisconsin forward in 2016. 

“The policies of Scott Walker and the legislative Republicans who rubber-stamped his agenda have hurt business, the economy, and ultimately the hard working people of Wisconsin,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning. “Democrats have felt the urgency in the voices of their constituents who just want the basic economic security of a well-paying job. Wisconsin is in the middle of an economic crisis and families in every corner of our state need Republicans to work with the other side of the aisle to address it.”