Wisconsin added an estimated 10,000 private sector jobs in July with most of the increase coming from gains in accommodation and food service, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Workforce Development.
At the same time, the state’s unemployment rate did increase by a tenth of a percent to 3%, which is still near a record low.
The two data points come from separate surveys used for monthly labor market reports. Private sector job totals are measured by a survey of employers while figures on unemployment are based on a survey of households.
July’s job gains in Wisconsin were the strongest for the state since February, which saw the addition of 24,900 jobs, and marked just the fourth month with a gain of at least 10,000 since November 2020.
Most of the state’s job gains in July came in the accommodation and food service sector, which added 5,100 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted data. Leisure and hospitality overall was up just 3,900 as the arts, entertainment and recreation lost 1,200 jobs.
Other bright spots included educational services, which added 2,600 positions, construction, up 2,900 jobs, and professional, scientific and technical services, which added 1,400 jobs.
Besides arts and entertainment, no other private sector industry was down by more than 1,000 jobs.
Despite adding 40,100 jobs since July 2021, Wisconsin’s employment is still down 35,600 compared to the period just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor force participation in the state has also been trending down, dropping 0.2 points from June to July to 66.2%. In July 2021, the participation rate was 66.7%.
Still, labor force participation in Wisconsin is generally among the strongest in the country and was more than 4 percentage points higher than the nation, which came in at 62.1% in July.