Milwaukee area employment slips in August

Unemployment rates move slightly higher

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

Southeastern Wisconsin continues to have a better employment situation than it did last year, but a number of signs point to upticks in unemployment and a slower pace of hiring.

The latest local data released by the Department of Workforce Development shows total nonfarm employment in the metro area, which includes Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, decreased by a seasonally adjusted 4,500 jobs from July to August. Compared to August 2016, employment was down by 6,500.

Statewide employment declined by an estimated 8,800 from July to August, but was up 19,000 compared to August 2016. Three other metro areas – Eau Claire, Green Bay and Oshkosh-Neenah – showed year-over-year declines.

Within the metro Milwaukee area, unemployment rates have been inching up, just as they have statewide over the last few months. Milwaukee County had a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.6 percent in August, down 0.9 percentage points from the same time last year. July’s unemployment rate of 4.4 percent was 1.1 percentage points lower than the same time in 2016.

Washington and Waukesha counties saw their unemployment rates remain unchanged at 2.9 and 3.1 percent respectively. Ozaukee County’s rate dropped from 3.1 to 2.9 percent. All three counties saw their unemployment rates bottom out earlier this year. As their rates have inched up, the gap over the same time in the previous year has narrowed, just as it has in Milwaukee County.

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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