Manufacturing leads sectors in job gains for metro Milwaukee

Freeman Staff

Nov. 8, 2018

MILWAUKEE — About half of the economic indicators showed improvement in September for metro Milwaukee, but it was the manufacturing industry that shined the most, according to data released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

The data showed that of the major industry sectors, the manufacturing sector registered the strongest year-over-year percentage job gain, with an increase of 4 percent. The industry lagging the furthest behind was the financial activities sector, which had the largest job decline at 5.3 percent compared to September 2017.

“Metro Milwaukee’s local economic trend has been a bit lackluster in recent months,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director, in a statement. “While a majority of indicators are still pointing upward, overall job gains have been tepid, offset in part by strong growth in a number of manufacturing indicators.”

Of metro Milwaukee area’s 23 monthly economic activity indicators, 13 showed improvement compared to September 2017.

Some of the highlights of the report, Mayborne said, were nonfarm jobs in the metro area averaged 874,500 in September, a 0.7 percent increase over September 2017 levels.

MMAC’s release said job growth in recent months “has been tepid.” The release says that September’s 0.7 percent gain is behind the 0.9 percent average increased posted compared to 2018’s first nine months and the nation’s 1.7 percent September year-over-year gain.

In addition, MMAC reported that the length of the average workweek for manufacturing production workers reached its second highest level in its available record (2001 to present) was 43.7 hours in September, up 4.5 percent from year-ago levels.