Wisconsin unemployment rate drops further to 4.2%

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Dec. 18, 2015

MADISON - Data released by the Department of Workforce Development on Thursday showed that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped further to 4.2 percent in November, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate of 4.2 percent for November is the lowest in the state since March 2001, according to the DWD. In October, the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. Both rates are lower than the average national unemployment rate, which is 5 percent. 

The November 2015 rate is also significantly lower than the rate was in November 2014 when it was 5.2 percent, according to the Thursday’s data.

The DWD also reported that Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 67.8 percent in November, which was better than the national rate of 62.5 percent.

In addition, Wisconsin added 33,400 private sector jobs and 29,900 total non-farm jobs from November 2014 to November 2015. Private sector job numbers for the month of October were revised to 16,600, marking October 2015 as the best month of net job growth dating back to April of 1992 and the best October since 1990, according to the DWD.

However, the preliminary numbers released Thursday show a loss of 3,800 private sector jobs from October 2015 to November 2015. The DWD said that number is not considered significant and is well within the margin of error.

“With revisions showing that Wisconsin had the best October for job growth in 23 years, and a labor force participation rate over 5 percent higher than the national rate in November, it is obvious that Wisconsin is working again,” said DWD Secretary Reggie Newson in a statement.