Metro Milwaukee economy posts fewer gains

Number of positive area economic indicators hits four-year low

Economic indicators

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 am

Only 13 of 23 economic indicators tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce posted gains in February, down from 15 positive indicators in January and the lowest number of positive indicators since April of 2012.

Economic indicators

“Metro Milwaukee’s economy continues to grow, but there are some clouds in the economic sky,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director. “The aggregate number of positive indicators ranks at nearly a four-year low, while less than half of major industry sectors in the area registered February job growth.”

Nonfarm employment in the metro area averaged 842,200 in February, a 0.4 percent increase from a year ago. It was the 65th consecutive month of year-over-year job growth, but the second slowest increase posted in four years.

Among major industry sectors, only four out of 10 posted year-over-year job increases in February. The construction, mining and natural resources sector posted the largest job gain, up 3.5 percent, while the largest decline was in the leisure and hospitality sector, which was down 4.9 percent.

The metro area’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for February was 5.5 percent, the same as the state’s rate but higher than the 5.2 percent national rate.

Metro Milwaukee housing sales rose 7.5 percent in February, the 13th consecutive year-over-year monthly increase.

New car registrations in the metro area were up 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Passenger traffic at Mitchell International Airport was up 9.8 percent from a year ago. It was the sixth month in a row of passenger gains for the airport.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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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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