MMAC economic indicators remain strong

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

Economic growth continues in southeastern Wisconsin as a majority of the local economic indicators tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) pointed upward in January.

Sixteen of 23 available monthly indicators improved over year-ago levels, matching December’s 16 upward pointing indicators.

“Metro Milwaukee’s economy remains on a solid foundation as we get our first look at the 2015 trend,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director. “Job growth continues in the metro area, albeit at a slower rate than originally thought, with most major industry sectors contributing to the overall gain.”

Highlights of the latest report included:
* Nonfarm employment in the metro area rose at a 0.9 percent pace in January (vs. January, 2014). January’s gain marks an improvement from the revised 0.4 percent increase posted in December and marks the 52st consecutive month of year-over-year job increase.
* Six of ten major industry sectors posted year-over-year job gains in January with the other services sector registering the largest year-over-year gain, up 4.8 percent. Conversely, among the four major industry decliners, the steepest job decrease was posted in the leisure & hospitality sector, down 6.5 percent.
* Manufacturing indicators registered positive results in January. Manufacturing employment rose 1.3 percent vs. year-ago levels while a production worker’s workweek length and earnings levels posted year-over-year increases.
* Local unemployment indicators continue to move in a positive direction. New unemployment compensation claims fell at a 3.8 percent pace (vs. year-ago levels), to 7,051. January’s decline comes on the heels of the 9.3 percent increase in claims posted in December. The number of unemployed in January fell at a double-digit rate, down 15.5 percent from January, 2014, to 45,700. As a result, metro Milwaukee’s seasonally unadjusted January rate fell one percentage point from one year ago to 5.6 percent. Metro Milwaukee rate ranks slightly higher than Wisconsin’s 5.4 percent but lower than the nation’s 6.1 percent rate.
* Both housing and real estate indicators tracked by the MMAC pointed downward in January. Existing home sales in the metro area numbered 675, down 5.5 percent. January’s decline was this indicator’s first year-over-year decrease in five months. Mortgages recorded in Milwaukee County fell modestly in January, down 1.1 percent from year-ago levels, to 1,641.
* New-car registrations in the metro area rose 3.9 percent in January, to 2,354, following the 21.7 percent increase posted in December (vs. December, 2013).
* Air passenger totals for Mitchell International Airport fell for the fifth consecutive month, down 2.4 percent from one year-ago, to 464,749.

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