Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate dropped to 64.9% in November, an acceleration of a downward trend that stretches back to June, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
The 0.4 percentage point decline from October comes after three-tenth declines in October, September and August, a two-tenth decline in July and a one-tenth decline in June.
All told, the labor force participation rate is down 1.5 percentage points since November 2021. The national rate is up 0.2 points over the same period.
While Wisconsin still outpaces the national labor force participation rate, which was 62.1% in November, it has fallen down the ranks in recent months. The state ranked ninth in the country for labor force participation as of October 2021 and held that spot through May. It dipped to 10th in June and July, 11th in August, 13th in September and 14th in October.
November labor force participation data for other states will be released in the coming days.
However, the monthly jobs report from DWD was not all bad news. Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.3%, still lower than the national rate of 3.7%.
The state also added 5,800 private sector jobs in November. The accommodation and food service sector led the job gains, adding 3,600 positions. Health care and social assistance added 1,500 and durable goods manufacturing added 1,000.
Transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 1,100 positions, professional, scientific and technical services dropped by 700 jobs, financial activities employment declined by 500 and nondurable goods manufacturing was off 400.
All told, private sector employment in Wisconsin has recovered to more than 99% of its pre-pandemic level, but the state still needs to add 20,600 jobs to surpass its February 2020 total.