Most Milwaukee economic indicators rose in August

Job growth up, unemployment down

Economic indicators

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

Most Milwaukee-area business activity economic indicators were positive in August, according to the latest report from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

Economic indicators

Of the 22 indicators that the MMAC tracks, 16 were up in August from year-ago levels. July also saw 16 indicators on the upswing year-over-year.

Total nonfarm jobs were up 0.7 percent in August, to 866,600. That was down from July, when the Milwaukee-area saw a 1.5 percent increase in nonfarm jobs year-over-year, and also below the national August nonfarm job increase of 1.5 percent.

Most of the August jobs growth was attributed to the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which increased jobs 3.9 percent from a year ago. Construction, mining and natural resources also improved, up 3.8 percent. However, the financial activities sector dragged on the August economic growth, with a 5.5 percent jobs decrease year-over-year.

The number of unemployed workers fell 3.7 percent year-over-year, to 39,100. The rate declined at a slower pace than in July, which was 8.5 percent lower than the prior year. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7 percent for the metro area in August, down 0.2 percent from a year ago, but still higher than Wisconsin’s overall August unemployment rate of 4 percent. The national unemployment rate was 5 percent in August.

Existing home sales, another indicator, increased 9.8 percent in the metro Milwaukee area when compared to August 2015. Milwaukee County mortgages recorded were up 18.5 percent over last year.

“Slow but steady employment growth marked metro Milwaukee’s economic trend in August,” said Bret Mayborne, economic research director for the MMAC. “Area housing and real estate indicators registered year-over-year growth in August after each posted some weakness in July.”

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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