Wisconsin added 13,600 private-sector jobs in February

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

March 25, 2015

MADISON — The metro-Milwaukee area, as well as all other metropolitan areas in Wisconsin saw a decline in unemployment rates in February, according to preliminary, non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.

For the metro Milwaukee area, which includes Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, 3,600 jobs were added in February compared to January and 5,700 positions added when comparing February 2015 to February 2014. Wisconsin added 13,600 private-sector jobs between January 2015 and February 2015, the best one-month jump since September 2003, according to the Department of Workforce Development, which released the data.

Waukesha’s unemployment rate in February was 4.6 percent, which is the same percentage as the month before. In February 2014, the unemployment rate for the city was 5.7 percent, according to the data.
Brookfield’s unemployment rate for February was 4 percent, up from January’s rate of 3.9 percent and a one-percentage point decrease from February 2014. New Berlin also saw a slight uptick in February’s unemployment rate to 4.6 percent compared to January’s 4.5 percent but was significantly lower than February 2014’s rate of 5.6 percent.

In Milwaukee, the unemployment rate last month was 7.4 percent, unchanged from January, but a 1.5 percent decrease from February 2014’s rate of 8.9 percent.

Statewide the unemployment rate for February was 5.5 percent. In January, the rate was 5.4 percent and in February 2014 it was 6.8 percent. The national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in February.

The DWD said it is “not unusual to see an uptick in local and county unemployment rates in Wisconsin during the winter months, including from January to February.” The DWD pointed out that in February, preliminary rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 32 largest municipalities compared to February 2014 rates, as well as in all of the state’s counties.