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April 2002 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON – After seven straight months of declines, Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector posted a gain last month of 1,400 jobs and the state unemployment rate marked its third monthly decline at 5.4 percent according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The national unemployment rate was 6.0 percent, up from 5.7 percent in March and 5.5 percent in February.
"Wisconsin’s labor market made improvements in April with substantial and significant gains across nearly all sectors of the economy," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert. "Based on our most current employment figures, the improvement we see this month gives cause for optimism," she said.
The number of people unemployed in Wisconsin in April dropped by 25,900, compared to a drop of 6,000 in March, while employment increased by 21,700 last month compared to an increase of 4,300 in March.
The number of nonfarm jobs grew 35,900 and is estimated at 2,811,600 for April compared to 2,775,700 for March, and 2,816,100 in April of 2001. Job gains were most substantial in services, which increased by 11,400, construction, which increased by 10,400 and retail trade, which increased by 7,300. Manufacturing employment increased 1,400 in April, a month that over the past several years has not seen gains in employment.
Construction jobs are now up to 119,700 compared to 119,600 one year ago in April. The first time since February 2001 that the current month construction employment exceeded the year-ago figure. The construction industrial sector has been quite flat for the first few months of 2002. This robust growth is a welcome sign for the upcoming summer season.
The average weekly hours worked by production workers in April was 41.3, which is a slight drop from the March figure of 41.7, but a substantial increase from one year ago when the April figure was 39.4. That translates into a weekly wage of $648.41, up nearly $55.00 from last year’s comparable figure of $593.76. The average hourly wage for production workers excluding overtime is $14.46 per hour compared to $14.60 per hour one year ago.
Note to news media
County employment and unemployment figures for April should be available on May 22, 2002. This release is also available at: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi
|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman