Wisconsin lost 1,100 private sector jobs in October

Unemployment rate ticks up to 3.3%

Last updated on November 20th, 2019 at 07:50 am

Wisconsin lost 1,100 private sector jobs and the state’s unemployment rate increased to 3.3% in October, according to new seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate remains below the 3.6% rate for the entire country.

In releasing the data, the state Department of Workforce Development touted the addition of 17,200 private-sector jobs over the last 12 months, a 0.67% increase from this time last year.

The department also highlighted Wisconsin’s 67.1% labor force participation rate. While that rate remains higher than the national rate of 63.3%, it has been steadily declining over the last two years. It has dropped by 0.5 percentage points since October 2018, a loss of 2,700 people from the state’s workforce.

The loss of 1,100 jobs in October was primarily driven by declines in manufacturing, down 1,300 jobs, and trade, down 700 in wholesale and 900 in retail. The health care and social assistance sector helped offset those losses, adding 2,400 jobs during the month.

“Wisconsin has continued to add private-sector and non-farm jobs over the last year, despite global trade tensions negatively affecting two of Wisconsin’s top industries, agriculture and manufacturing,” DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman said. “These vitally important economic sectors in Wisconsin are bearing the brunt of these trade negotiations, losing nearly two dairy farms per day, and 7,700 manufacturing jobs in the last year.”

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.