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Thursday, May 28, 1998
For more information contact:
August Cibarich, DWD Labor Market Economist
All 11 urban areas in state
record all-time low jobless rates
Madison, Wis. -- All 11 of Wisconsins major urban areas had all-time record low seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates in April, based on preliminary data confirmed today by a state agency.
Records have been maintained for this specific labor market measurement only since 1976, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
Governor Tommy G. Thompson and DWD yesterday released other preliminary employment and unemployment data for the state, major urban areas, and counties.
Most of the records set in the urban areas in April were only a month or two old, while the oldest were set in October 1996 -- for Appleton/Oshkosh/Neenah, Eau Claire, and Wausau.
The largest drop among the 11 cities from the previous record low was in Eau Claire, down from 3.0 per cent recorded in October 1997 to 2.4 per cent last month, and in Sheboygan, down from 2.3 per cent in February 1998 to 1.7 percent in April.
April rates ranged from 1.1 per cent in Madison to 3.1 in Racine. Milwaukees rate was 2.6 per cent.
Madisons 1.1 per cent unemployment rate was down from the previous low of 1.5 per cent set only a month earlier.
Madison, which had the seventh lowest rate in the nation in March among the 328 largest urban areas, is expected to improve that ranking when the April data is released by the U.S. Labor Department on or about June 3.
Unemployment rates are one important measure of the relative strength of the labor market but tend to get the most attention. Other major factors include the number of people in the labor market (civilian labor force), the number of people employed in nonfarm wage and salary jobs (total employment), and the number of nonfarm wage and salary jobs.
Similarly, the labor market is one of several methods which together help measure the relative strength of the economy.
The state agency said it still was analyzing the civilian labor force, total employment, and nonfarm wage and salary job information for the urban areas.
The following chart summarizes the urban area jobless rate performance.
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates
in April 1998 and previously-recorded low rates
All data shown above is preliminary.
Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development