Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 23, 2018
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
BLS Data: Wisconsin's Over-the-Month Decline in Unemployment Rate to State's All-Time Low of 2.9% Ties for 1st in Nation
Wisconsin's unemployment rate ranks 6th nationally; labor force participation rate ranks 5th nationally
MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen released the following statement on the state-by-state rankings released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing that Wisconsin's preliminary unemployment rate over the month decline of 0.2 percent was tied for 1st nationally, while Wisconsin's record low unemployment rate of 2.9 percent ranked 6th nationally. Additionally, Wisconsin's labor force participation rate of 68.6 percent ranked 5th nationally, while the month over month increase of 0.1 percent ranked 4th nationally. Today's report also showed that Wisconsin's addition of 2,500 manufacturing jobs from January to February 2018 ranked 5th nationally, while the 11,800 manufacturing jobs added from February 2017 to February 2018 ranked 4th nationally.
"We are in record-setting times and the strength of Wisconsin's economy is underscored by the fact that our month over month unemployment rate drop was the strongest in the nation," Secretary Allen said. "Additionally, strong growth from Wisconsin's family-supporting manufacturing industry continues to drive the state's job growth. Our efforts to train and place Wisconsin workers in gainful employment are working, but we must continue to expand our efforts to attract, train and retain talent to fill high-growth occupational vacancies."
Highlights of today's state-by-state rankings include:
- Wisconsin ranked in the top 5 nationally in one-month manufacturing job gains, and 2nd in the Midwest.
- Wisconsin ranked 2nd nationally in manufacturing jobs gained over a 3 month period, from December 2017 through February 2018.
- Wisconsin ranked 4th nationally in year over year manufacturing job gains.
- Wisconsin's record-setting unemployment rate of 2.9 percent ranked 6th nationally, while the month over month drop of 0.2 percent was tied for 1st nationally.
- Wisconsin's labor force participation rate of 68.6 percent ranked 5th nationally, while the month over month increase in Wisconsin's labor force participation rate was 4th best nationally.
Other indicators of the state of Wisconsin's economy include:
- Initial UI claims ended 2017 at their lowest level in the last 30 years.
- Continuing unemployment claims ended 2017 at their lowest level since 1973.
- Moody's investor Service recently upgraded the state's credit rating, nothing that "(T)he stable outlook reflects the expectation that the state will experience moderate economic growth and will continue its prudent fiscal management practices."
The data included in today's release can be accessed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.