Wisconsin unemployment rate down to 2.5%

Last updated on April 21st, 2023 at 02:24 pm

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate continued to decline in March, reaching a new record low of 2.5%, according to the latest data released by the state Department of Workforce Development.

The previous record low came in February at 2.7%.

The decline over the month came from a drop of 6,400 in the number of people considered unemployed and an increase of 11,000 in the number of people employed. Those shifts also added up to a one-tenth increase in Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate to 64.6%.

While the labor force did grow from February to March, the participation rate has been trending down, decreasing 0.8 percentage points since March 2022.

Labor market data comes from two different surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate and info on labor force participation comes from a survey of households. Data on payrolls and the number of jobs comes from surveys of businesses.

The state’s jobs data for March shows less positive figures when it comes to job growth. Nonfarm jobs increased by just 900 and total private sector employment was up just 200, based on seasonally adjusted data.

Goods producing sectors in Wisconsin lost 2,300 jobs during the month as construction employment was down 1,700 and durable goods manufacturing lost 1,600 jobs. Nondurable goods manufacturing did add 1,100 positions.

Private service providing sectors in Wisconsin added 2,500 positions, led by the addition of 1,400 positions in wholesale trade and 1,200 jobs in health care and social assistance.

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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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