Wisconsin lost 1,400 private sector jobs in August as job growth continues to slow

State’s year-over-year job growth declined to 0.32%

Wisconsin lost 1,400 private sector jobs in August and the state’s year-over-year job growth declined to 0.32%, the worst performance since July 2010, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state has added 8,300 jobs since August 2018 and its year-over-year private sector employment has not grown by more than 1% in any month since March 2018. So far this year, Wisconsin has averaged private sector job growth of 0.6%.

Wisconsin ranked 36th in average job growth in 2018 and has fallen to 40th through the first seven months of 2019.

The state’s Department of Workforce Development released the monthly data on Thursday, highlighting that Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate remained unchanged in August at 67.2%.

“Along with the country’s, Wisconsin’s workforce is aging rapidly, with thousands retiring daily,” DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman said. “To replace retiring workers, while also filling new positions, Wisconsin’s employers and workforce partners, very much including DWD, will need to continue their aggressive, creative, and inclusive workforce recruitment efforts.”

Compared to August 2018, the state’s labor force was down by around 6,000 people. The labor force participation rate has been trending down since mid-2017, dropping from 68.5% to 67.2%, a loss of more than 27,000 workers.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate increased by a tenth of a percent to 3.1% in August.

The state’s goods producing sectors were essentially flat, adding 100 jobs. Nondurable goods manufacturing added 1,200 jobs, but that was more than offset by the loss of 1,900 jobs in durable goods manufacturing

Private service providing industries lost 1,500 jobs. Gains of 1,000 jobs in wholesale trade and professional and business services were not enough to offset the loss of 2,100 jobs in accommodation and food service.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at 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.