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Report: Wisconsin ranks 38th in creating new jobs

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MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - 37 states have been more successful in creating new jobs than Wisconsin – and a Marquette professor says officials might be trying to attract the wrong types of jobs.

In a new quarterly report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wisconsin created 37,500 new private sector jobs during the year ending in March. That’s a gain of 1.7 percent – below the national average job growth of 2.4 percent.

Marquette economics department chairman Abdur Chowdhury says the state’s efforts might be focused too much on creating manufacturing jobs – the state’s top sector – instead of investing more in fields like information technology and health care.

Only a dozen states had smaller percentages of job growth than Wisconsin. And when the public sector is added in, Wisconsin’s rank falls to 43rd among the 50 states, with a total job growth of 1.1 percent.

Spokesman Cullen Werwie of Governor Scott Walker’s office says the Badger State still faces challenges from a stagnant national economy – and Walker’s next two-year budget will focus on creating jobs and growing the state’s economy.