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December 2002 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
DECEMBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON -- Wisconsin’s unadjusted unemployment rate for December is estimated at 4.9 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November and 4.4 percent in December of 2001. The year 2002 will end up with an average monthly unemployment rate of 5.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent for 2001. Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted rate for December is estimated at 5.4 percent. The national seasonally adjusted rate for December is 6.0 percent.
"Even though the unemployment rate increased slightly, Wisconsin remains eight tenths of a point below the national average. Historically, Wisconsin has seen higher unemployment rates at this same time in past decades," said Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman. "But there are still large numbers of Wisconsin workers and families enduring very difficult economic circumstances."
Although economists in general no longer consider the economy to be in recession, the labor market, particularly for Wisconsin workers is still in recession. Employment figures for all non-farm wage and salary jobs, indicates that the manufacturing sector continues to be very hard hit by the national economic slowdown. Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector dropped 2,800 jobs from it’s November total. Although a drop in employment between November and December in the manufacturing sector is not out of the norm, the magnitude of the drop is greater than normal. The normal drop in manufacturing is about 440 jobs.
Overall the total number of jobs in the non-farm wage and salary economy dropped from 2,870,100 in November to 2,856,200 in December, a drop of 13,900 jobs. The normal drop for the month is about 3,500. Construction dropped off by 8,100 jobs compared to a normal 6,800 loss. Finance, insurance and real estate gained about 100 jobs compared to a normal increase of about 900 jobs. The transportation, communications and public utilities sector gained about 200 jobs. The norm for that industry sector is a slight loss. Wholesale trade gained about 700 jobs a somewhat stronger performance than is the norm for this time of year. Retail trade gained 2,900 jobs, very close to the seasonal norm. The service sector was unchanged from its November figure. The service sector normally gains about 2,000 jobs between November and December. The government sector dropped about 6,900 jobs between November and December. The norm for this time of year is a loss of about 2,900 jobs. It is likely that the loss in government jobs was due primarily to the build up of government jobs in November related to election poll work.
December employment and unemployment figures for individual counties should be available on January 29. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.
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|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman