Little change in Wisconsin job data for February

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Wisconsin’s labor force participation grew slightly in February but there was little other change in the state’s jobs data last month, according to data released by the Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8%. The rate dipped below 4% in January after an annual benchmarking process showed the state ended 2020 with a smaller labor force than previously thought.

In February, the state’s labor force grew by 2,500 and the seasonally-adjusted participation rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 65.6%. That figure is down from 66.2% in February 2020 but still well ahead of the national rate of 61.4%

Total private sector employment in the state was down by 1,000 from January. A loss of 4,100 jobs in the construction sector was the only statistically significant month-over-month change.

Wisconsin still has a long way to go to recover the jobs lost in the past year with private sector employment still down 129,600.

The hardest hit sectors include accommodation and food services, down 48,200, arts, entertainment and recreation, down 13,400, health care and social assistance, down 15,600, and durable goods manufacturing, down 13,1000.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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