Wisconsin unemployment rate down to 3.4 percent

Place of work data shows limited gains

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

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in March as employment grew by 16,400, according to figures released today by the state Department of Workforce Development.

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The figures, compiled from a survey of 985 households, also showed unemployment declining by 10,300, to 107,100, and the state’s labor force participation rate ticking up 0.1 percentage point, to 68.4 percent.

“Today’s release shows Wisconsin continuing to experience positive workforce and economic growth under the vision and leadership of Gov. Scott Walker,” said DWD Secretary Ray Allen.

The DWD’s place of work data, which is based on a survey of employers, did not show the same gains in employment. The state added 500 private sector jobs in March, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Total nonfarm employment declined by 2,700, driven by a 4,000-job decrease at the state level of government.

DWD highlighted the state’s gain of 25,100 nonfarm jobs from March 2016 to March 2017, including 22,100 private sector jobs.

The household and employer surveys are both subject to variation and sampling error from month-to-month. The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages is generally considered a better measure of actual employment.

The next release of QCEW data is scheduled for June and will cover through the end of 2016.

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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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