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April 2003 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
Madison – Wisconsin’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, dropped to 5.4 percent in April from 5.5 percent in March. One year ago, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate seasonally adjusted was 5.5 percent. The national seasonally adjusted rate increased from 5.8 percent in March to 6.0 percent in April.
"While unemployment rose on the national level, in Wisconsin the number of unemployed decreased in April and was also lower than it was one year ago," said DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman. "We are pleased to see a slight decrease in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate, but recognize that many families still face unemployment. Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development will continue to make helping unemployed workers a priority," she said.
Wisconsin’s unadjusted rate was estimated at 5.8 percent in April. It had been 6.5 percent in March. One year ago in April, the state’s unadjusted rate was 5.9 percent. The number of people estimated unemployed in the state dropped from 199,982 in March to 177,813 in April. The number reported to be employed rose to 2,896,644 in April. Each one-tenth of a percent drop in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate lowers the number of unemployed by about 3,000.
The greatest seasonal increases were construction and the leisure & hospitality industry. Construction saw a 9,600 job increase from March, although the industry is still lagging where it was last year at this time. The leisure & hospitality industry gained 6,100 jobs over its March figure and is up about 1,300 jobs from last April. Manufacturing, which normally posts a slight increase in April, lost 1,100 jobs last month. The financial activities sector and the educational services and health services continue to do well, as they have over the past few years, bucking the general decrease in jobs seen in most sectors. Both of these industries are up over last year’s figures, with financial activities up 3,400 jobs and educational and health services up 6,900 jobs. Retail trade employment is off to a slow start, with 310,000 jobs reported for April, up 2,600 jobs from the March 2003 figure and down from 310,700 last year.
Spring job activity has begun to see seasonal increases in many industries, but the national anxieties over international difficulties continue to be felt in Wisconsin. Manufacturing continues to be very flat, and construction is down considerably from one year ago. The decreases in construction appear to be split between heavy and civil engineering projects, building construction and specialty trade contractors.
April employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available May 21. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.
|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Rose Lynch