Number of positive economic indicators for area ticks upward

December shows slight improvement over November

Economic indicators

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

The number of improved economic indicators for the metro Milwaukee area showed a small uptick with 14 positive indicators, up from 13 positive indicators in November, according to the monthly economic trends report from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

“The aggregate total of positive indicators has remained fairly stable in 2015’s second half but across industries job growth has become less broad-based,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director. “Nonetheless overall strength in the local economy continues to show through, particularly in unemployment and housing and real estate indicators.”

Economic indicatorsHighlights of the MMAC report:

  • Nonfarm employment numbered 856,600 in December, a 0.8 percent increase from one year ago.
  • The number of unemployed fell 11.8 percent from year-ago levels to 36,500 while new unemployment compensation claims numbered 5,679, a 15.8 percent decrease from one year ago.
  • Metro Milwaukee’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points from year-ago levels, to 4.5 percent in December.
  • The length of the workweek for manufacturing production workers averaged 43.5 hours in December, up 3.1 percent over year-ago levels.
  • A small gain was recorded in average weekly earnings, up 0.3 percent (to $847) while average hourly earnings fell 2.7 percent (to $19.47).
  • Existing home sales in the metro Milwaukee area registered a 14.5 percent increase in December over year-ago levels.
  • Air passenger usage of Mitchell International Airport rose 0.4 percent in December, to 502,372.
  • New-car registrations fell 41.2 percent in December to 1,697, the smallest number of monthly registrations posted since February, 2012.
  • Consumer prices nationally, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.7 percent in December (vs. December, 2014) to 236.525 (1981-84=100). The Milwaukee area CPI-U reached 226.984 for the second half of 2015, a 0.3 percent decrease from 2014’s second half.

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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