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MAY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today announced the state’s preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for the month of May was 4.1 percent, which is down from 4.2 percent for the month of April.
The number of people unemployed in the state dropped for the 3rd consecutive month. In May, 14,400 fewer people were unemployed, on top of a drop of 13,000 in April and 8,600 March - for a total drop in number of unemployed people of 36,000 since February.
"Although the May estimates do not indicate that the economy is in full recovery, neither do they indicate that the state’s economy is deteriorating further," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert. "We are cautiously optimistic. Though manufacturing continues to struggle, which is a concern, unemployment is leveling off and all other industries experienced growth last month," she said.
Wisconsin’s unadjusted unemployment rate for May was estimated at 3.9 percent, following a seasonal pattern established throughout most of the past ten years. The May rate was 0.5 percent lower than the April rate of 4.4 percent, and 0.4 points higher than the May figure in 2000. The rate was slightly below the average May unemployment rate for 1990 – 2000.
The number of nonfarm wage and salary jobs was 2,857,300, up 24,800 from the April figure, and up 11,200 from the May 2000 figure. Manufacturing continued to slip, with a 3,000 reduction from the April figure and government employment was down 1,500 from April, but every other sector in the economy saw growth. Construction employment led the way, adding 10,100. The trade industry added 8,700 jobs, and services added 7,600. Manufacturing is the only industry to have fewer jobs than one year ago.
Even within the manufacturing industry, nondurable goods manufacturing appears to be fairly stable. The durable goods manufacturing industry is seeing the lion’s share of job losses.
In spite of the economic difficulty being experienced within manufacturing, the rest of the economy appears to be following nearly normal seasonal patterns. Particularly encouraging is the slight increase seen in the wholesale trade industry.
Note to news media
County employment and unemployment figures for May should be available on June 20. This release and other labor market information is available on the department Internet site at: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi
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Content Contact: Terry Ludeman