Economic growth in the metro Milwaukee area slowed in August as only 9 of the 23 indicators tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce posted year-over-year gains during the month.
That’s down from July when 12 of those economic indicators posted year-over-year gains.
“Metro Milwaukee’s economic trend continues on a sluggish path,” said MMAC research director Bret Mayborne. “Job gains across major industry sectors were increasingly uneven and manufacturing and production indicators posted continuing year-over-year declines.”
The metro area’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month was 3.8%, up from 3.4% a year ago. The number of unemployed people in the area in August was up 12.5% from a year ago. Total employment improved slightly (less than 0.1%).
The best sectors in the area for job growth in August were leisure & hospitality (up 4.1% year-over-year), education & health services (up 3.9%) and construction, mining & natural resources (up 1.1%).
The biggest declines for area employment were in government (down 3.0%), financial activities (down 1.7%), professional & business services (down 1.2%) and manufacturing (down 0.8%).
The average number of weekly hours, weekly earnings and hourly earnings for area manufacturing employees all declined in July.
New car registrations in the area were down 18.9%.
Passenger traffic at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport was down 2.2%.
However, the area’s housing market posted gains in August with a 6.6% increase in home sales and a 9.5% increase in Milwaukee County mortgages.