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March 2002 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
MARCH UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON Ė Wisconsinís preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 5.7 percent in March, down from Februaryís final rate of 5.8 percent, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The national unemployment rate was also 5.7 percent in March, compared to 5.5 percent in February.
"Employment figures for March indicate that though Wisconsinís job market continues to lag behind the economic recovery, more people are being absorbed into the job market," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert. "Approximately 6,000 fewer people were unemployed last month than in February, while the number of people employed grew an estimated 4,300 and the labor force declined some 1,700," she said.
Nonfarm wage and salary jobs for the state in March were estimated at 2,774,400, up from 2,759,800 in February. Manufacturing saw a very small decrease of 1,500 in March figures. Industries with the largest increases were construction, with a job increase of 4,200; trade with an increase of 4,400; and services with an increase of 3,500.
After a substantial increase in job seekers in February, there was a slight decrease in March. Preliminary estimates report a labor force of 3,049,813 for March compared to 3,051,464 in February. The number of people employed was 2,851,116 in March compared to 2,846,824 in February. People unemployed dropped from 204,640 in February to 198,697 in March.
"The labor market has been sluggish in spite of very strong economic reports related to consumers. Housing sales are strong, retail sales have been reported to be very strong, automotive sales continue to be strong, and yet labor markets are slow in response," said DWD economist Terry Ludeman. "Ordered but undelivered products soon could frustrate consumers who are being asked to wait, which could hurt consumer enthusiasm," he said.
Secretary Reinert, in a memo to department managers this week, stressed the importance of DWD services in helping employers and workers connect. Her memo indicated that continued diligence was necessary to help displaced workers and their families move forward and also to help sustain the recovery.
Note to news media
County employment and unemployment figures for February should be available on April 24, 2002. This release is available on the department Internet site: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi
|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman