Wisconsin employers added 8,400 private sector jobs from May to June and the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9%, according to data released by the Department of Workforce Development on Thursday.
Even with the job growth, total private sector payrolls remain nearly 98,000 jobs behind their February 2020 level.
The state’s unemployment rate has now been at 3.9% for three straight months and has been less than 4% for all of 2021. By comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.9% in June.
While Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is much better than the double-digit levels the state experienced in the spring of 2020, it remains higher than pre-pandemic levels, which had been at or below 3.5% from the start of 2017 through March 2020.
The state’s labor force did grow by 10,000 people from May to June, putting it at 3,095,300, slightly larger than it was in June 2019. At 66.3%, the labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points from May, but remained below the 66.8% rate the state saw in June 2019.
The number of people considered unemployed in the monthly household survey used to determine the unemployment rate was up by 1,300 to 121,400. The unemployment figure is an improvement of more than 141,000 from June 2020, but remains nearly 18,500 higher than in June 2019.
Wisconsin’s job growth in June was mixed.
Goods producing sectors lost 400 jobs overall, including a 1,200 job decline in construction and an 800 job drop in nondurable goods manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing added 1,500 positions.
Private service providing sectors added 8,800 jobs, led by the addition of 3,100 jobs in educational services, 2,300 jobs in transportation, warehousing and utilities, and 2,100 jobs in the information sector.
The leisure and hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit in the pandemic, lost 800 jobs from May to June. A gain of 2,100 jobs in accommodation and food service was offset by the loss of 2,900 jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation.