Wisconsin unemployment rate now down to 3.2%

Private sector added 7,500 jobs in state during April

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

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in April, reaching 3.2 percent, the lowest level the state has seen since February 2000.

The rate has fallen nearly a full percentage point in the first four months of the year after ending 2016 at 4.1 percent. It was 3.4 percent in March.

“The bottom line is Wisconsin’s economy is growing and adding jobs, and our biggest challenge now is finding enough skilled talent to fill openings employers have available,” said Department of Workforce Development secretary Ray Allen.

The state added 7,500 private sector jobs in April and 14,800 nonfarm jobs overall, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The strongest private sector job gains came in nondurable goods manufacturing, which added 3,100 jobs. Durable goods manufacturing added 2,000 jobs and construction employment increased 1,500.

The private service providing sectors did not see the same level of gains. Leisure and hospitality added 1,500 jobs and professional and business services was down 1,600. Overall the private service sector was up by 900 jobs.

The government sector added 7,300 jobs, led by 5,100 at the state level and 2,400 at the local level.

The figures are estimates based on a survey of about 3.5 percent of employers and are subject to revision. Data from March, for example, showed private sector employment was higher by 300 jobs than originally estimated while total nonfarm payrolls were actually lower by 1,000.

A separate survey of state residents suggested employment increased by 17,100 in April to almost 3.05 million. The labor force participation rate also increased to 68.8 percent, up 0.2 percentage points.

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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