Wisconsin added nearly 32,500 private sector jobs in 2017, a 1.3% increase

Average wages up 2.8% to $47,228

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Wisconsin’s private sector employment grew by 1.3 percent in 2017, an improvement from 2016 when the state ended the year with its worst 12-month period since mid-2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and state Department of Workforce Development.

The state ended 2017 with 2,484,631 people on private sector payrolls, up 32,479 from December 2016, according to preliminary data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages available from DWD.

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Private sector employment in the state is up by 213,646 from December 2010.

The QCEW data is generally considered the “gold-standard” for jobs data because it is based on unemployment insurance information from nearly all employers in the state. The monthly job and unemployment report use surveys of business and households to produce estimates of employment.

The BLS will release private sector data for all other states later this week. The agency changed its release schedule and provided data on all covered employees through the fourth quarter of 2017 in May.

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Employment among those covered by unemployment insurance, including many government workers, increased 1 percent in 2017. Wisconsin tied for 26th in the BLS data released in May.

The private sector data available from DWD showed average annual wages in the state increased nearly 2.8 percent to $47,228. Wages were up just 1.6 percent in 2016, but increased 3.6 percent in 2017.

In southeastern Wisconsin, private sector job growth was strongest in Kenosha and Washington counties, up 3.5 and 3.1 percent respectively. Walworth, Waukesha and Sheboygan counties all grew employment faster than the state as a whole while Milwaukee was only slightly behind the pace at 1.28 percent.

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Racine and Ozaukee counties grew employment 0.9 and 0.4 percent respectively.

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