Metro Milwaukee economy gains momentum

Area economic indicators perk up

Economic indicators

More area economic indicators posted gains in March and the number of indicators posting gains in February were revised upward, according to the latest economic trends report from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

Economic indicators

Last month the MMAC reported that only 13 of 23 area economic indicators that it tracks posted gains in February. Today, the MMAC said that revised data showed 15 of 23 area economic indicators posted gains in February.

For March, 16 of the 23 indicators posted gains, according to the MMAC report.

“March numbers indicate some small improvements over revised February numbers, particularly among manufacturing related indicators,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s research director. “Nonetheless, overall job growth continues on a modest course with percentage gains failing to reach national levels.”

Nonfarm employment in the area averaged 849,100 in March, up 0.8 percent from a year ago. Six of 10 major industry sectors posted year-over-year job increases in March. Employment in the education and health services; and the trade, transportation and utilities sectors rose 3.0 percent. Employment in the construction, mining and natural resources sector rose 2.7 percent. Employment in the financial activities sector fell 4.3 percent, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector fell 4.1 percent and employment in the information sector fell 2.8 percent in March, year-over-year.

The area’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was 5 percent in March, a 0.4 percentage point improvement from a year ago.

Passenger traffic at Mitchell International Airport continues to improve with 651,546 travelers using the airport in March, the highest monthly total in more than three years and the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increase.

However, the number of homes sold in the metro area dipped 6.4 percent in March and mortgages recorded in Milwaukee County declined by 15.5 percent, compared to a year ago.

New car registrations in the metro area plunged 27.2 percent in March, compared to a year ago.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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