State unemployment rate drops to 5.9 percent

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development today released preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that indicate Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in March.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February. The March estimate would put the state at its lowest unemployment rate since November 2008, and below the national rate of 6.7 percent, which was flat in March.

The preliminary BLS estimates also indicate Wisconsin also gained a seasonally adjusted 6,400 private sector jobs in March, a dip from the 6,900 nonfarm jobs added in February.

The state’s monthly job and unemployment reports are preliminary and subject to significant revisions.

“For the first time in over a half-decade, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent, and that’s because our state’s labor force and employment have increased and unemployment has decreased,” said Reggie Newson, secretary of the DWD. “Even as these numbers are aligned with many other economic indicators showing (the) state is moving in the right direction, there is much more work to be done to develop our state’s workforce and create more good-paying jobs for Wisconsin’s working families.”

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