Wisconsin unemployment rate back down to 3.2%

State added 2,800 private sector jobs in November

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

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped for the second straight month in November and reached 3.2 percent for the third time this year, according to data released by the Department of Workforce Development.

The state also added 2,800 private sector jobs during the month with gains concentrated in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, construction and trade.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate plummeted during the first half of the year from 3.9 percent in January to 3.1 percent in May. It started increasing slightly in July and reached 3.5 percent in September.

The state’s labor force participation rate increased from 68.8 percent in October to 68.9 percent in November as overall unemployment was down by 5,700 and total employment increased 11,600.

Seasonally adjusted data from DWD shows the state’s labor force has increased by 1.5 percent since the start of the year and overall employment is up 2.23 percent.

The data used to compile the unemployment rate, labor force participation rate and overall employment level comes from a different survey than the private sector job totals. The former is based on a survey of 985 households while private sector job data comes from a survey of about 5,500 employers.

The gold standard for employment data comes from a third dataset, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. That data relies on payroll data from nearly all employers and is delayed by six months.

For the 12 months ending in June, Wisconsin employment increased by 1.29 percent, according to the latest QCEW data. The state hasn’t ranked higher than 27th for any 12-month period over the last four-plus years .

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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