Wisconsin unemployment rate drops to 4.6 percent

The Wisconsin unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in March, down from 4.8 percent in February, according to preliminary estimates released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The rate is the state’s lowest since June 2008, and remains below the national unemployment rate, which was at 5.5 percent in March.

However, Wisconsin lost 5,000 private sector jobs from February to March.

The labor force participation rate was at 68.4 percent statewide in March, down from 68.6 percent in February, but surpassing the 62.7 percent participation rate nationwide.

In the 12 months ending in March, Wisconsin added 48,200 private sector jobs. Among the leading industries for job creation were construction, manufacturing and financial activities.

“Wisconsin’s preliminary March unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest rate since June 2008 (and) remains well below the national unemployment rate,” said DWD secretary Reggie Newson. “In addition, the statistically significant year-over-year job increases across multiple sectors are positive economic indicators that we are on a long-term path to advance a Wisconsin that supports greater freedom and prosperity.”

The DWD based its statistics on data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics report, which is obtained through a monthly survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin employers. The CES is often subject to revision.

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