Wisconsin ranks 32nd for job growth as average wages dip

Western states dominate top 10

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

Wisconsin added 17,670 private sector jobs during the 12-month period ending in September of 2017. The 0.72 percent increase in employment was the 32nd largest in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s ranking is down slightly from 29th at the end of the second quarter and job growth in the state slowed from the 1.29 percent increase for the 12 months ending in June.

It also continues a trend of Wisconsin being ranked in the bottom half of states for job growth. Wisconsin hasn’t ranked higher than 27th for any 12 month period over the last four-plus years. The data comes from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, generally referred to as the gold standard for employment figures because it includes 96 percent of employers. Unlike the surveys released monthly with unemployment rates, the QCEW is delayed by six months.

Nationally, private sector employment was up by 1.17 percent for the 12 months ending in September, an increase of 1.4 million jobs.

Wisconsin ranked fifth in the Midwest for job growth behind Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana. None of those states ranked higher than 20th and only Missouri topped 1 percent for job growth. Four Midwest states, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and North Dakota, saw declines in their private sector employment.

Average weekly wages were also down in all 12 Midwest states, including a $10 drop in Wisconsin to $873.

The best job growth in the country was in western states, led by Nevada where private sector employment was up 2.9 percent. Also in the top 10 were Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, Texas and New York.

Only eight states overall saw an increase in average weekly wages, led by an increase of $19 in the state of Washington to $1,208.


The metro Milwaukee area saw its private sector employment increase 0.57 percent or 4,227 jobs. The region ranked 217th out of more than 370 metro areas with available data. Madison was just ahead of Milwaukee at 215th with 0.6 percent job growth.

Wisconsin’s fastest growing region was the Janesville-Beloit area, up 1.95 percent or 1,113 jobs and ranking 82nd in the country. Green Bay was 109th at 1.64 percent, followed by Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh-Neenah at 117, 182 and 195 respectively.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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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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