What do Estonia and Wisconsin have in common?

By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Business Climate - Economy - Employment Scene | Jun 14, 2012

When government reduces spending, ridicule increases. And citizens have more money.

There was some humor related to a Twitter flare up two weeks ago.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves may have become peeved at comments by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

At the heart of it, Estonia made large budget cuts, boldly moving the eastern European country from deficit to surplus and stabilizing the country in a precariously teetering Eurozone.

Krugman belittled the accomplishment. Ilves, it seems, personally responded.

And, Now, Prosperity In Wisconsin

A week after Estonia had to justify its policy of fiscal responsibility, I stumbled across an embargoed report updating labor forecasts for Wisconsin.

This is the state that nearly threw its governor out for reducing the unions’ take from the state budget.

A week after Governor Scott Walker was allowed to keep his job, The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey was released. This is a quarterly study that featured a glowing report on jobs prospects in Wisconsin.

Manpower: Booming Job Market Expected for Wisconsin

I’ll admit, this isn’t easy reading, but once you get a feel for the mathematics of the report, you begin to realize the significance of the improved prospects for employment in Wisconsin.

Bottom line, what Manpower calls the “Net Employment Outlook” for Q3 jumped by half. It’s double the average for the entire country.

Here’s a link to the Manpower report…


The Governor Agrees

It turns out the Governor is pretty good at making his own case, so I’ll mostly share links to his website. Regarding increased employment in the state of Wisconsin, Scott Walker argues that estimates have been missing the mark. He specifically names the Bureau of Labor Statistics as being wildly inaccurate.

He offers, instead, a hard count of 96% of employers’ payrolls, as reported by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD.) Bottom line, 160,000 employers within the state added over 23,300 jobs between December 2010 and December 2011.

That flies in the face of numbers published by the Fed. DWD Secretary Reggie Newson explained:

“For the first time, we see Wisconsin’s 2011 jobs picture based on what 96 percent of Wisconsin employers reported, not what statistics out of Washington, D.C. estimated based on a survey of 3.5 percent of Wisconsin businesses. Wisconsin added jobs last year, which not only contradicts the loss in jobs that the federal government estimated for our state, but also lines up with other indicators that show Wisconsin’s economy is headed in the right direction.”

You can read the report here…


Scott Walker’s Results

To keep it brief, here’s the letter from Secretary Mike Huebsch, stating that Wisconsin’s general fund condition has turned positive…


How He Did It

Walker explains two core strategies that enabled him to balance the state budget.

First, he rolled back the union take.

Second, he told the entities within the state – departments, counties, everybody – he told them to stay within their hard budget numbers and figure out for themselves their own best procurement methods. He points to large, imaginative improvements that developed as a result.

Here’s a link to that report, which includes some interesting case studies…


Recruiter’s View

Wisconsin is one of several states that are getting it right. If you want a job, or if you want to build a company, you have to be in economic circumstances that support your goals.

The United States is not a single economy. Not all states have the same economic conditions.

Choose wisely.