Most of the economic indicators for the Milwaukee area tracked by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce posted gains in September, highlighted by a 16-year low for the area’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate.
The 4.0 percent seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for the metro area was the lowest since December 2000, which was at 3.3 percent, according to the MMAC report.
Overall, 17 of 22 economic indicators tracked by the MMAC posted gains in September, up from 16 that posted gains in both August and July. Data for one indicator, passenger traffic at Mitchell International Airport, was unavailable.
Nonfarm employment in the area was 862,400 in September, a modest 0.5 percent increase from a year ago. It was the 72nd month of year-over-year job growth in the metro area, but the growth pace was lower than the 0.8 percent increase for the first nine months of the year.
“While over three-quarters of local economic indicators are moving in the right direction, there are some points of concern,” said Bret Mayborne, economic research director for the MMAC. “The local area unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since 2000, but at the same time overall job gains remain lackluster, with most major industry sectors posting either year-over-year job gains of less than one percent or actual job declines.”
The trade, transportation and utilities sector posted the strongest job increase at 3.5 percent. The construction, mining and natural resources sector was up 3.5 percent. The financial activities sector had the largest decline, dipping 4.8 percent.
The number of homes sold in the metro area dipped 6.1 percent in September from a year ago, but the number of mortgages was up 29.9 percent.
New car registrations fell 17.6 percent in September to 2,296. That comes after a 26.2 percent decrease in August.
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