Wisconsin lost 1,200 private sector jobs in November

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:32 pm

Private sector employment in Wisconsin dropped by 1,200 from October to November, according to seasonally adjusted data released Thursday by the Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s unemployment rate, however, remained at 3.3%, lower than the 3.5% rate for the U.S. as a whole.

Wisconsin’s job losses were primarily concentrated in service providing industries. The wholesale trade industry in particular lost an estimated 800 jobs. Most industries were relatively flat, but the other services category shed 1,500 jobs

In the goods producing sectors, losses in durable goods manufacturing were offset by gains in nondurable goods and construction.

Compared to November 2018, Wisconsin added 9,900 jobs. It is the second time this year the state has added less than 10,000 jobs in a 12-month period.

The manufacturing sector in particular has been a drag on the state’s job growth this year, decreasing by 6,900 from November 2018.

The data, however, are an estimate based on a survey of businesses. More accurate data, based on payroll information from nearly all companies, are released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on a six-month delay.

The most recent data covering the first half of the year showed much stronger performance for Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector after original estimates showed job losses.

The more detailed data, however, did not show an uptick in overall private sector job creation.

In addition to the sluggish job growth, the November data showed a continued decline in Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate compared to the prior year. At 67.1%, the rate was down by 0.5 percentage points from 2018.

The U.S. labor force participation rate, meanwhile, was up by 0.3%, although it remains below Wisconsin’s, at 63.2%

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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.

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