Jobs data shows Wisconsin lagged national average

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — New jobs numbers show Wisconsin lagged the rest of the country in job creation in 2011.

But the numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are in line with what Gov. Scott Walker released ahead of the official publication date.

Walker caused a ruckus in May when he released Wisconsin’s data early. The final numbers released by BLS were only 16 different from what Walker’s Department of Workforce Development said they would be.

However, the roughly 20,000 jobs the state added last year ranked it about 40th in the country when compared with all 50 states.

Walker says he is encouraged by the numbers and predicts there will be more job growth in small businesses in the second half of the year.