Wisconsin workforce grew in May, but state lost 5,300 private sector jobs

Unemployment rate unchanged at 2.8 percent

Economic indicators

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

Wisconsin’s workforce participation rate increased slightly in May, but survey data from employers showed the state lost 5,300 private sector jobs during the month, according to a release from the state Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s workforce participation rate increased a tenth of a percentage point from April to a seasonally adjusted 68.9 percent. The overall civilian labor force increased by 4,000 to 3,179,400 and overall employment increased 4,300 to 3,090,200, according to household survey data.

Economic indicators

Those data points left the state’s unemployment rate unchanged at 2.8 percent, a record low for the state.

Place of work data, however showed private sector employment declined by 5,300. The estimates showed losses in trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality, offsetting gains in nondurable goods manufacturing.

The two surveys are part of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly job estimates. The household data relies on a sample of 985 households and unemployment insurance claims. The place of work data uses a survey of 5,500 employers.

The data is subject to revision in future months. April’s private sector job data, for example, was changed from a loss of 3,100 jobs to a loss of 5,600.

Data that is more accurate often comes from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, but release of that data is delayed by six months.

The most recent release showed Wisconsin adding 32,259 jobs in 2017, a 1.32 percent increase that ranks 2nd in the Midwest and 26th in the country.

DWD’s release of the May data touted the addition of 21,600 private sector jobs in the last 12 months, amounting to an increase of 0.85 percent.

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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