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October 2002 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
OCTOBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON – Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was estimated at 4.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from September’s final rate and two-tenths percentage points higher than the October 2001 figure. The national unemployment rate for October was 5.7 percent, up one-tenth from September. The state’s unadjusted unemployment rate for October is 4.1 percent down two-tenths percentage points from the September figure.
"There were 2,868,300 jobs reported in Wisconsin’s nonfarm wage and salary economy for October, an increase from the September figure of 2,854,300," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Alexander. It is also up from the October 2001 figure of 2,846,500. The good news is that the labor market appears to be following a normal seasonal pattern, after several months of non-seasonal activity.
Most employment sectors in Wisconsin reported very nearly seasonal fluctuations in October. Construction was down by 1,600 jobs, its normal decrease this time of the year is 1,100. Manufacturing dropped by 2,200 jobs compared to a normal decrease of 4,500. Food and kindred products manufacturing normally slows down at this time of the year as Wisconsin’s canning season comes to a close. Government employment increased a bit stronger than normal, as schools increased their hiring in October to make up for the smaller than normal increases in September. The school districts’ figures appear to have been affected by a later than usual fall start up, likely related to the Labor Day weekend guideline. The trade sector added 2,900 jobs between September and October, compared to a normal increase of about 2,000. The services industry saw a decrease of about 4,000 jobs compared to a seasonal norm of about 2,200.
The October unemployment rate for 2001 and 2002, 4.1 percent, is historically a fairly low rate for the state, although the rate was much lower than that in the 1994 through 2000 period. In that period, the October rate for the state was below 3.0 percent on three occasions, dropping to an historic low of 2.5 percent in 1999.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance, in the five-week period between October 6 and November 9, have been lower than the same period last year, but they continue to be high in historic perspective.
October employment and unemployment figures for individual counties should be available on November 20. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.
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|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman