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State, construction industry lose jobs in June (UPDATE)

By SCOTT BAUER
?Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin lost an estimated 11,700 private sector jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 7 percent, the state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The figures are based on a survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin businesses and subject to significant monthly and quarterly revisions.

Even so, the report is bad news for Gov. Scott Walker, who promised during the 2010 campaign and again in this year’s recall election that, over four years, the state would add 250,000 private sector jobs under his leadership.

He is far from meeting that promise. Based on the monthly estimates for 2012 and more accurate data from 2011, Wisconsin has added 45,315 jobs since Walker took office. With that pace, 120,804 jobs will be created by 2015, less than half what Walker promised.

The latest monthly report shows job losses in most sectors, including construction, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and other services.

Wisconsin’s 7 percent unemployment rate, which rose from 6.8 percent in May, was still below the national average of 8.2 percent.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the latest figures were not a surprise, given the weak national job creation numbers released earlier this month. He said Walker’s top priority remains job creation and improving the state’s economy.

Democrats who took over majority control of the Senate earlier this week asked Walker to call a special session on job creation, but Republicans in the Assembly dismissed it as political theater.

Werwie has said Walker won’t call lawmakers back this year unless Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers agree on bills that can be passed.

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