"The rest of the nation is moving upwards. We're one of the few states moving downward. There's something wrong," said economist Steven Deller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The United States as a whole has added private-sector jobs 23 months in a row, including almost a half million jobs in the past two months.
Wisconsin has lost more private-sector jobs (an estimated 27,700) than any state in the country since the middle of last year (July through December), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only one other state, Missouri, is close, losing about 19,000 jobs in that stretch.
Statewide, 311 of 424 school districts, or 73% of districts, reported cutting teachers this year.