Sixteen of 23 metro area business activity indicators improved in June, down from 17 in May, according to the latest monthly economic trends report from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
“Local economic indicators continued on a steady upward path in June,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director. “Of particular note is the stronger pace of employment growth recorded in June, the strength of which has mostly eluded the metro area economy through 2015’s first half.”
Highlights of the June report include:
- Nonfarm job levels were 863,700 in June, the highest job total posted in the metro area in seven years. Employment grew at a 1.5 percent pace in June compared to year-ago levels, up from the revised 0.8 percent gain in May. Education and health services, up 3.9 percent; financial activities, up 3.5 percent; professional and business services, up 3.4 percent; and leisure and hospitality, up 3.2 percent, posted the biggest year-over-year employment gains in June. The trade, transportation and utilities sector posted the largest job decline in June, down 1.5 percent. The metro area’s manufacturing sector posted a 0.3 percent employment decline in June.
- The number of unemployed in the metro area fell 14.6 percent in June to 44,900. New unemployment compensation claims fell 1.4 percent to 5,993.
- Metro Milwaukee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate averaged 5.5 percent in June, a 0.8 percentage drop from a year ago. The national unemployment rate is also 5.5 percent and the state unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.
- Air passengers using Mitchell International Airport rose 0.3 percent in June, over year-ago levels, the second increase in the past three months. Prior to the last three months passenger totals had declined for seven consecutive months.
- Existing home sales in the metro area rose 27.2 percent to 1,986, following the 14.3 percent gain posted in May. The number of mortgages recorded in Milwaukee County for June totaled 2,657, a 26.2 percent increase from one year ago.
- New car registrations fell 5.6 percent in June to 2,951.