State lost 5,000 private sector jobs in December

Unemployment rate ticks up to 4.3 percent

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

Wisconsin’s job growth did not keep pace with the nation as a whole in December as the state lost 5,000 private sector jobs while the country added 292,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted data from the state Department of Workforce Development.

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There were 2,972,100 people working in December in Wisconsin, a record high according to the department and an increase of 20,700 from December 2014. The state added 23,600 private sector jobs over the course of the year with nearly 12,000 coming in education and health services.

“Under Governor Walker’s leadership, the number of employed Wisconsinites reached a record high in December 2015, meaning more people were employed in Wisconsin than ever before,” outgoing DWD Secretary Reggie Newson said. “Additionally, our state’s labor force participation rate grew to 68 percent, which is more than five percentage points higher than the national rate. As the governor noted Tuesday during his State of the State address, the Wisconsin comeback is real.”

The state’s unemployment rate was up slightly to a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in December, but remained below the national figure of 5 percent. A total of 10,500 people joined Wisconsin’s civilian labor force, bringing the state’s labor participation rate to 68 percent, compared to 67.8 in November.

The state’s loss of 5,000 private sector jobs was within the margin of error for the place of work data series. The figures also showed  the addition of 2,000 jobs in construction and 2,300 in manufacturing of nondurable goods. That was offset by a loss of 2,200 in durable goods manufacturing, 4,500 in trade and 1,900 in leisure and hospitality.

The state also added 3,400 government jobs, with most of them coming at the local level.

Private sector job numbers for November were revised upward by 600, leaving the state with a loss of 3,200 for the month.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.