Wisconsin unemployment rate dips to 4.0%

But private sector job growth down 8 percent in 2016

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

The state of Wisconsin economy only added 900 private sector jobs in December, but the state’s unemployment rate continued to fall, dipping to 4.0 percent compared to 4.1 percent in November.

That’s according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today in a report from the state Department of Workforce Development. The data is seasonally adjusted.

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The state added 3,000 manufacturing jobs and 2,700 construction jobs in December, according to the report. But the state lost 9,500 service jobs during the month.

The state also lost 4,600 government jobs in December, including a loss of 5,100 local government jobs, while gaining 400 state government jobs and 100 federal government jobs.

The report also showed a smaller private sector job loss for November compared to the preliminary report from last month, which showed a 5,200 private sector job loss in the state for November. The new report shows a 3,700 private sector job loss for that month.

Using the preliminary December data, the state added 28,900 private sector jobs in 2016.

The state’s 2016 private sector job growth is down 8 percent from the 31,400 private sector jobs added in 2015 in Wisconsin.

However, the state’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in 16 years, according to DWD Secretary Ray Allen, and is lower than the national rate of 4.7 percent.

“Wisconsin’s unemployment rate and the number of unemployed Wisconsinites are at their lowest points since 2001, and the state’s labor force participation rate continues to outpace the national rate,” Allen said. “While these indicators show (Gov. Scott Walker’s) focus on developing the workforce is working for millions of men and women across the state, it also underscores the challenge to find enough people to fill job openings that employers have available today. This is why the governor is making developing the workforce a top priority this year and beyond.”

The state’s labor force participation rate also dipped downward in December, to 68.3 percent from 68.4 percent in November.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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