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In February, Wisconsin’s incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson stated that, “Obviously I am always supportive of manufacturing here in Wisconsin, but at the same time, I recognize that manufacturers have different capabilities elsewhere.” 

Johnson was responding to an interview question about the plans of Oshkosh Defense to manufacture 165,000 new U.S. Postal Service trucks outside of Wisconsin, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. 

Johnson said he would not “insert” himself in the decision about the federally funded contract. “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” he added. “The biggest problem we have in Wisconsin right now is employers not being able to find enough workers.”

Johnson’s statement, although criticized by Democrats and others, referenced Wisconsin’s widely reported labor shortage. When he made the statement in February, Wisconsin had a near-record low unemployment rate of 2.9%.


American Bridge 21st Century: Sen. Ron Johnson remarks in Richfield, WI on February 5, 2022

Business Insider: Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson says his state has ‘enough jobs’ in response to a local manufacturer’s plan to hire 1,000 workers in South Carolina to build postal trucks

Wisconsin Public Radio: US Sen. Ron Johnson blasted for stance on Oshkosh Defense’s move to manufacture outside Wisconsin

Senator Ron Johnson: Tweet responding to manufacturing controversy

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.