Wisconsin added 16,700 private sector jobs in August

State's unemployment rate dips to 6.2%

Wisconsin added 16,700 private sector jobs from July to August, a 0.7% increase, and the state’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.2%, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by the Department of Workforce Development.

Although the data suggests Wisconsin’s labor force is bouncing back, the rate of recovery is down from July, which saw an increase of 25,000 private sector jobs.

Wisconsin added 97,600 jobs in June, a 4.4% growth rate from the previous month, according to revised numbers from DWD. In May, the state added 68,100 jobs for a 3.1% growth rate.

The data shows that Wisconsin added 34,700 total non-farm and 16,700 private sector jobs in the month of August. However, the amount of private sector jobs added is still down approximately 200,000 from August of 2019.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is still below the national average, which was 8.4% in August. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate saw the largest jump from 3.1% in March to 13.6% in April. The unemployment rate has steadily declined since May (12.1%) and June (8.6%).

The state’s labor force participation rate was 65.4% in August, which is higher than the nation’s labor force participation rate of 61.7%.

So far, the state has recovered 206,900 jobs, which places Wisconsin at the halfway point of recovering total jobs lost (395,800) since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Part of Wisconsin’s job growth in August stemmed from retail and trade (6,300), leisure and hospitality (5,100), manufacturing (2,900) and real estate (1,400). However, the labor force of these sectors is still far below what it was in August of 2019 and in some cases, by tens of thousands of employees.

Goods producing sectors added 4,800 in jobs but is still down 25,300 from August of 2019. Non-durable goods added 2,300 position this month, just 4,700 jobs away from full recovery.

“While COVID-19 continues to hamstring economic recovery, especially in certain industries, DWD’s programming is available to help individuals safely reenter the workforce,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said in a statement. “I encourage individuals looking to gain new skills or learn how to apply their existing skills to a new job to visit JobCenterofWisconsin.com to explore our array of services that are available via in-person or virtual appointment.”

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.

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