Wisconsin lost 4,500 private sector jobs in March

Unemployment rate unchanged at 2.9%

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

Wisconsin lost an estimated 4,500 private sector jobs in March, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the state Department of Workforce Development on Thursday.

In the last year, private sector employment in the state increased by 12,400, representing job growth of less than 0.5%. March marked the 12th straight month of year-over-year job growth of less than 1% in Wisconsin. Labor force participation has also fallen by 0.7 percentage points during the last year to 67.5%.

The slow-growth stretch is the first such period in the state since the 12 months ending in October 2010. The major difference, of course, is that during the 2010 stretch the unemployment rate was anywhere from 8.3% to 9.3%.

During the most recent stretch of slow job growth in Wisconsin the unemployment rate has been at or below 3.1%. It was 2.9% in March, unchanged from the previous month.

“With our state’s low unemployment rate and growing workforce shortage, we must ensure all Wisconsinites can support themselves and their families from a fair wage under fair working conditions, while also attracting new workers to our state and back into the workforce,” said Caleb Frostman, the DWD secretary designee.

The drop in private sector employment in March was primarily driven by a decline of 4,800 jobs in leisure and hospitality.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities employment was up 1,000 while most other sectors were essentially flat.

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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.

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