Wisconsin unemployment at post-Recession low

Special to The Freeman

Nov. 20, 2014

WAUKESHA — Job numbers released Thursday indicated Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is lower than the national rate and is also at a post-Recession low for the state at 5.4 percent.

According to the announcement Thursday from the Department of Workforce Development, which released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.4 percent for October, down from 5.5 percent in September and from 6.5 percent in October 2013. The 5.4 percent rate marks a new post-Recession low for the state and is lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

Wisconsin also gained jobs in the past year. DWD said there were 31,000 more private-sector jobs in October 2014 compared to October 2013 and monthly gain of 4,000 private sector jobs. According to a release from DWD later in the day Thursday, Wisconsin added more than 35,000 private-sector jobs from June 2013 to June 2014 with more than 17,500 jobs added in three major sectors: construction, professional services, and manufacturing.

“Wisconsin’s monthly unemployment declined again last month, reaching 5.4 percent which is the lowest rate since October 2008. In addition, a revised September private sector job gain of 8,100 made the month the strongest September in over a decade,” said DWD Secretary Reggie Newson in a statement. “As our economy grows stronger, we will continue to support innovative talent development solutions that ensure job creators have the skilled workers they need to stay competitive and move our state forward.”

On Thursday, the DWD also released information about private-sector wages, which the department said increased by 3.7 percent from June 2013 to June 2014.

In addition, initial weekly unemployment insurance claims for the first 45 weeks of 2014 dropped to the lowest point since 2000, and the annual average weekly UI claims are at their lowest levels since 2000.