More area economic indicators improve in May

Economic indicators

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

The metro Milwaukee economy showed improved performance in May as 17 of the 23 economic indicators tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce posted year-over-year increases, up from just 13 improved indicators in April.

“The aggregate number of positive indicators rebounded in May to its highest total in seven months, but overall job growth remains lackluster,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director.

Economic indicators

Nonfarm employment in the metro Milwaukee area rose just 0.6 percent in May, compared to a year ago, to 862,300. Over the same time frame, jobs nationally grew at a 1.7 percent rate and rose 1.5 percent in the state.

“Year-over-year job increases in the metro (Milwaukee) area have fallen under 1 percent in six of the past seven months and rank significantly below both national and state level growth rates,” Mayborne said.

The local unemployment rate is now down to 4.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down 0.8 percentage points from a year ago.

Other highlights of the MMAC report:

  • The number of unemployed in the metro area fell 16.6 percent in May (compared to a year ago) to 34,600. New unemployment compensation claims for the Milwaukee area were down 9.2 percent in May.
  • Existing home sales for the metro area rose 12.1 percent in May to 1,717. The number of mortgages in Milwaukee County increased for the first time in five months and was up 8 percent in May compared to a year ago.
  • The number of air passengers using Mitchell International Airport rose 2.7 percent in May to 570,643, the eighth year-over-year increase in the last nine months.
  • New car registrations in the metro area fell for the first consecutive month and were down 31.4 percent in May to 2,257.

Read more economic data reports on 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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