Data Calls into Question Fairness of WEDC’s Jobs Impact
Partisan imbalance found in WEDC’s own data
Statewide: Data reported on the website of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Governor Walker’s troubled jobs agency, calls into question the fairness of its impact on jobs in Wisconsin. The agency’s claimed jobs impact is tilted towards legislative districts represented by Republicans.
WEDC’s own data reveals a large partisan in balance in its claimed jobs impact between Republican and Democratic represented legislative districts. In the data presented by WEDC on its website, the agency claims to have impacted on average 580 more jobs in Senate Districts represented by Republicans than in Districts represented by Democrats. It also claims to have impacted on average 171 more jobs in Assembly Districts represented by Republicans than in Assembly Districts represented by Democrats.
These persistent partisan disparities add to the growing concern that WEDC may be playing favorites in its economic development programs. It has been recently reported by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that WEDC is not serving Northern Wisconsin, despite the region’s severe shortage of family supporting jobs.
“Either WEDC is not distributing resources fairly, or it lacks a strategy to assure that everyone in Wisconsin benefits from the state economic development efforts,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The only real solution to the myriad problems at WEDC is to disband it and create a fully accountable public agency with the mission to enhance economic opportunity everywhere in Wisconsin, especially in areas with the greatest economic challenges.”
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