Metro Milwaukee a drag on state job growth in 2016

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

Wisconsin had its worst calendar year for job private sector growth since 2009 last year and metro Milwaukee was certainly a contributing factor as employment in the area declined by more than 1,400, according to Department of Workforce Development and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Employment in the metro area, including Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, dropped by 0.2 percent, even as employment statewide increased by 0.48 percent. It was the largest difference between the state and the metro at the end of a quarter over the last two years.

Milwaukee County led the metro area’s decline with the loss of 3,145 jobs, a 0.73 percent decline. It’s not uncommon for the county to be behind the state in job growth, but this was the first end of quarter month where it was a more than 1 percentage point gap in the last two years.

Waukesha County also underperformed compared to the state, adding 566 jobs, a 0.25 percent increase.

Ozaukee and Washington, meanwhile, outperformed the state for the year. Washington County increased employment 1.49 percent or 727 jobs while Ozaukee added 437 jobs, an increase of 1.11 percent.

Southeastern Wisconsin as a whole was down slightly with a decline of 0.04 percent. In addition to Milwaukee, Kenosha was down 0.64 percent or 370 jobs and Racine matched the state increase at 0.48 percent. Sheboygan County was up 1.37 percent and Walworth added 1.18 percent.

Wood, Winnebago and Dane counties were among the best in terms of number of jobs added and percentage growth.

Dane County alone added 4,900 jobs, a 1.9 percent increase that was well short of the 4.55 percent increase in 2015. In the last two years the county has added more than 16,000 jobs.

Excluding Dane County and southeastern Wisconsin, the state added 7,044 jobs, a 0.67 percent increase. Wood County, near Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids, added 1,217 jobs, a 3.77 percent while Winnebago County added 1,665 for a 2.05 percent increase.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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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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