Walker developing new way to measure employment

CREATED Jan 22, 2013

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  • Jason Gathings, a welder, works at Fabricated Metal Products, a small factory in Cudahy that has seen sales flatten and stopped hiring the last few months. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1% from 8.3% in July, but that was only because more people gave up looking for jobs. The government also said Friday that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. READ MORE | PHOTO GALLERY Image by Rick Wood

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he is developing a new way to measure Wisconsin's employment needs.

Walker has complained about the accuracy of monthly unemployment data based on a survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin businesses. The more accurate data, based on a census of nearly all Wisconsin businesses, comes quarterly and has a six month lag.

Walker said Tuesday that gap makes it difficult to use those numbers for making quick responses to the state's employment needs. He says he is moving forward with a real-time labor management system so the state can react to job needs better.

Walker previously mentioned the idea in his State of the State speech.

Walker promised in 2010 to create 250,000 private sector jobs over four years. He's far from meeting that pledge.