Wisconsin desperately needs new jobs. Alone among the 50 states, it has lost private-sector jobs for six straight months, raising the political and economic stakes of the next jobs report, due Thursday for the month of January. Even feeble job creation would bring a sense of relief to a recession-weary state and a pro-business governor who campaigned on a promise to add 250,000 new private-sector jobs in his current term. ”The rest of the nation is moving upwards. We’re one of the few states moving downward. There’s something wrong,” said economist Steven Deller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The United States as a whole has added private-sector jobs 23 months in a row, including almost a half million jobs in the past two months. But Wisconsin has been moving in the opposite direction, a trend that not only threatens Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign promise but could cloud any message of economic renewal as the state heads into an all-but-certain recall election this summer.
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