Wisconsin added 1,500 private sector jobs and the state’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.2% in December, according to the latest preliminary data released by the Department of Workforce Development.
The slight uptick in December leaves the state with 2.1% year-over-year job growth for 2022, which is also the average year-over-year change for the past 12 months. In 2021, Wisconsin averaged year-over-year growth of 2.5%.
The state is still just short of returning to pre-pandemic levels with private sector employment at 99.3% of its February 2020 total, a difference of 18,700 jobs.
December’s job gains were mixed with service sectors providing more growth than goods producing areas. Construction employment dropped by 1,900 and manufacturing was down 400, but those losses were offset by the addition of 3,800 positions in service sectors.
Service gains were led by accommodation and food service, which added 1,900 jobs, administrative support and waste management, up 1,400 positions, and health care and social assistance, up 1,100 jobs.
The arts, entertainment and recreation sector shed 1,700 jobs, offsetting some of the other service sector gains.
While Wisconsin’s unemployment rate did drop from 3.3% to 3.2%, the state also did see the continued decline of its labor force participation rate. That rate is now at 64.7%, down two-tenths for the month and 1.7 percentage points since December 2021.
The decline adds up to a labor force with 59,100 fewer people in it than at the same time 2021.
Measures on private sector employment and labor force or unemployment rates are generated from two different surveys. The former uses responses from employers while the latter two rates use a survey of households.
Read the latest issue of STUFF, a BizTimes Media publication highlighting southeastern Wisconsin careers in manufacturing, construction and the trades. Learn more about STUFF here: