Most area economic indicators posted gains in June

Several jobs measures improve

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Strong job growth helped drive improvement in June to most of the economic indicators tracked monthly by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, but the number of positive indicators dipped a tad from May.

“Broad-based employment gains across a number of major industry sectors drove a strong metro area increase in overall job levels in June,” said Bret Mayborne, economic research director for the MMAC.

Economic indicators

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Of the 23 indicators tracked each month by the MMAC, 16 posted year-over-year gains in June, down from 17 in May, while data for one indicator (traffic at Mitchell International Airport) was not available for June.

Nonfarm employment averaged 872,300 in June, a 1.1 percent increase over year-ago levels. That pace of job growth is up from the 0.6 year-over-year average posted in the previous four months.

“June’s job increase marks a significant upgrade from that posted throughout most of 2016’s first half,” Mayborne said.

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Seven of 10 major industry sectors posted year-over-year job increases in June in the area. The construction, mining and natural resources sector posted the largest employment gain in the region in June, up 6.2 percent.

The number of unemployed fell 3,500 in June compared to a year ago. The region’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent (down from 5.4 percent a year ago), lower than the national 5.1 percent rate, but higher than the state’s 4.4 percent rate.

Unemployment compensation claims in the metro area fell 18.1 percent in June.

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Existing home sales in the area also continued to show improvement, with a 3.4 percent increase in June. That is the 16th year-over-year increase for that economic indicator in the last 17 months.

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