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Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
CommunicationsOffice@dwd.wisconsin.gov Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Thursday, March 10, 2022
CONTACT: DWD Communications

BLS Data: Wisconsin's Unemployment Rate in January 2022 was 3.0 Percent; Labor Force Participation Rate 66.4 Percent

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of January 2022. The data shows that Wisconsin's unemployment rate was 3.0% in January, down from December 2021's rate of 3.1%. The data also showed that Wisconsin's labor force participation rate in January 2022 was 66.4%.

"Wisconsin's low unemployment and high labor force participation rates reflect a strong economic recovery as we leave this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic behind," said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. "At the same time, we know many employers are struggling to hire and retain employees. DWD's enhanced online Job Center of Wisconsin offerings and regional business services teams can help employers connect with skilled candidates and previously underutilized talent pools."

In addition to the January statewide data, BLS also recently published "benchmarked" estimates for the monthly employment and unemployment data sets covering 2021 and prior years. The benchmarking process is designed to bring the sample-based series into closer alignment with the actual job counts from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

The QCEW and other data are used to realign the survey data and to recalibrate the estimation model that is then driven by the monthly survey data. The recalibrated model is used with the current survey data to estimate the monthly numbers until the next benchmarking realignment.

"Benchmarking is a process that realigns the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey data with the actual data as supplied by the QCEW data," said Dennis Winters, Chief Labor Economist. "The CES is a sample of jobs at employers conducted across the nation. The QCEW are data as reported to UI by all firms in Wisconsin covered by the unemployment insurance system."

View Wisconsin Labor Force Summary

Today's full report and the benchmarked 2021 data can be viewed on DWD's premier source for labor market information, WisConomy.com.


Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.