MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Gov. Scott Walker says the state netted 9,500 new jobs last month, attributing many of them to tourism growth in Wisconsin.
Walker said at a news conference Thursday that it's the largest job growth in about eight years. He says a total of 39,300 private-sector jobs have been created since he took office in January.
The state's unemployment rate in June was 7.6 percent. It has hovered around 7.4 percent for the first five months of the year. That's typically been about 1.5 percentage points better than the national average.
Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says 6,200 of the state's June gain was in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors.
Klett says tourism's reputation for being a lower-paying, less stable business sector is outdated.
"I think tourism a lot of times gets a bad rap, people looking at it, it's just kind of a summer thing. Here in Wisconsin, we're a four season vacation destination."
Walker says the June job numbers were seasonally adjusted and represent a boost over recent years, which also have traditionally posted June job gains in tourism.
Walker also notes Wisconsin's net job gain in June was more than half of the nation's net increase of 18,000 jobs in the same period.
Walker deflected a question about whether tourism-heavy job gains are family supporting, focusing instead on the state's incentive efforts to lure firms with high-paying work.
"We want sustaining, long term jobs."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)