State private job growth flat in July, unemployment up

First quarter data shows 1.2 percent job growth

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

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate increased slightly in July but remained near historically low levels as the state added a seasonally adjusted 100 private sector jobs during the month.

The seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent unemployment rate was up 0.1 percent from June, according to data from the Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s labor force participation rate declined slightly during the month, to 68.8 percent. The labor force itself declined by an estimated 1,100 workers and overall employment was down 4,400, according to place of residence survey data.

Private sector employment, according place of work survey data, was up 100, but total nonfarm employment was up 3,600 based on gains in government employment.

Goods-producing industries were the primary driver of job growth during the month. The state’s manufacturing sector added 1,100 jobs, including 800 in durable goods and 300 in nondurable goods. The construction sector added 600 jobs during the month.

The service-providing industries were hurt by the loss of 4,400 jobs in the trade sector. Professional and business services added 3,100 jobs and educational and health services added 1,700 jobs. Leisure and hospitality lost 1,800 jobs.

The Department of Workforce Development also released Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data for the first quarter of the year. The QCEW is generally considered a more accurate measure of job growth because it relies on unemployment insurance records for roughly 96 percent of businesses in the state. The monthly estimates rely on surveys of much smaller groups.

The QCEW showed a 1.2 percent increase in private sector employment from March 2016 to March 2017. The addition of 27,723 jobs was led by a 4.4 percent increase in natural resources and mining, a 3.5 percent increase in construction, and a 2.2 percent increase in leisure and hospitality.

The information sector was down by 1.2 percent, while manufacturing added just 833 jobs, a 0.2 percent increase.

The department said total private sector wages were up by 7.7 percent year-over-year.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at 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.

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