Wisconsin unemployment drops to 4.6% — lowest rate since June 2008

Freeman Staff

April 16, 2015

MADISON — Wisconsin’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 percent during the month of March — its lowest level since June 2008, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for February was 4.8 percent.

Nationally the unemployment rate was higher in March at 5.5 percent.

Also according to the data, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate of 68.4 percent was stronger than the national rate of 62.7 percent by 5.7 percentage points. The difference was 5.8 percentage points in February 2015. These recent margins are the strongest they have been when compared to the nation since 2004, according to the Thursday announcement.

When comparing March 2014 to March 2015, Wisconsin added 53,200 total non-farm jobs and 48,200 private sector jobs. In addition, other statistically significant changes include a year-over-year gain of 8,000 jobs in construction, 8,600 jobs in manufacturing, and 4,700 jobs in financial activities, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with Wisconsin’s private-sector job totals remaining above pre-recession levels.

“In addition, the statistically significant year-over-year job increases across multiple sectors are positive economic indicators that we are on a long-term path to advance a Wisconsin that supports greater freedom and prosperity,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson said in a statement.