Friday, March 6, 1998
Wisconsin started off the new year with a sizzling 3.2 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in nearly 28 years. January's 3.2 compares to December's 3.5 percent and the nation's 4.7 percent, seasonally adjusted.
January's unemployment rate was the lowest in Wisconsin since the 3.1 percent recorded in March 1970. Just 12 months ago, in January 1997, unemployment was 3.8 percent.
Employers are once again creating jobs at a faster clip than the nation as a whole. The 71,800 new jobs (including 19,800 in manufacturing) created over the last 12 months represents a growth rate of 2.8 percent, compared to 2.7 percent nationally.
Did El Nino warm up an already torrid economy? It may not be that simple. Construction, often hampered by January's freeze, performed only modestly better than the average January.
A record 68.7% of the state's working-age population (age 16+) has a wage or salary job; in 1984, only 54 percent did.
"With such a tight labor market, employers will find Wisconsin's 74 Job Centers more helpful than ever," said Deputy Secretary Bruce Hagen. "Our Job Centersnow serve the full range of employers' needs with workers from every level, including experienced professionals and skilled workers as well as first-time workers."
Wisconsin's unemployment rate for calendar 1997 was 3.7 percent, ranking the state 11th in the nation and well below the nation's 4.9 percent. Wisconsin's 3.5 percent in 1996 had tied for fourth lowest.
Twelve-month increases in the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index as of January 1998 for the Midwest region that includes Wisconsin were:
|January 1998||previous month||in last 12 months|
|Total labor force||2,913,400||- 22,600||+ 39,200|
|Employed||2,801,800||- 45,400||+ 56,600|
|Unemployed||111,600||+ 22,900||- 17,400|
|Seasonally adjusted||January 1998||previous month||in last 12 months|
|Total labor force||2,961,200||+ 8,200||+ 40,800|
|Employed||2,867,700||+ 17,900||+ 58,400|
|Unemployed||93,500||- 9,700||- 17,700|
% seasonally adjusted
* of 276 metro areas or 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. September national rankings NOT seasonally adjusted. Lower is better.
|In Thousands||January||December||Year Ago||+/- month||+/- year|
|Nonfarm Wage & Salary||2631.6||2704.0||2559.8||-72.4||71.8|
|Durable Goods .||375.5||377.0||361.6||-1.5||13.9|
|Lumber And Wood Products||30.7||31.2||29.6||-0.5||1.1|
|Furniture And Fixtures||17.2||17.2||16.5||0.0||0.7|
|Stone, Clay & Glass Products||10.1||10.9||9.4||-0.8||0.7|
|Primary Metal Industries||25.9||25.8||23.8||0.1||2.1|
|Fabricated Metal Products||66.2||66.3||63.1||-0.1||3.1|
|Transportation Equipment .||33.3||33.3||31.8||0.0||1.5|
|Prof., Scient. & Control Instr||18.4||18.5||17.8||-0.1||0.6|
|Food And Kindred Products||63.7||63.9||62.9||-0.2||0.8|
|Textile Mill Products||3.0||3.0||2.7||0.0||0.3|
|Apparel & Other Finished Prods.||6.3||6.3||6.2||0.0||0.1|
|Paper And Allied Products .||53.4||53.6||52.2||-0.2||1.2|
|Printing, Publishing & Allied . ..||55.2||55.2||53.1||0.0||2.1|
|Chemicals And Allied Products .||14.5||14.5||14.0||0.0||0.5|
|Rubber & Misc. Plastic Prods..||36.5||36.4||35.4||0.1||1.1|
|Leather & Leather Products||5.0||5.0||5.0||0.0||0.0|
|All Other Nondurable Goods ..||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.0||0.0|
|Trans, Comm, Elec, Gas||122.0||124.1||120.5||-2.1||1.5|
|Finance, Insurance & Real Estate||141.1||141.9||138.4||-0.8||2.7|
|Services And Miscellaneous||673.9||691.5||644.1||-17.6||29.8|
|In Labor-Management Disputes||0.0||0.0||0.3||0.0||-0.3|