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Wisconsin jobs, employment numbers remained strong in April

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by Erik Gunn, Wisconsin Examiner
May 16, 2024

Wisconsin jobs and employment held steady in April, extending a strong economic streak that has been in place for more than two years, according to the state labor department.

“Businesses are still telling us that they are looking for workers,” said Dennis Winters, chief economist at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), at a briefing Thursday on the April jobs numbers. “Anybody that’s out there [has] probably got a pretty good chance of getting a job if they’ve got some skills to offer. We expect that to continue, too.”

The projected number of jobs in Wisconsin reached just under 3.05 million in April, while the unemployment rate fell below 3%.

The monthly statistical projections are based on two surveys conducted by the federal government. Projections about the labor force and employment are based on a household survey that asks people whether they are working or looking for work, among other questions. The jobs numbers are projected from a separate survey asking employers how many people are on their payrolls.

Based on the household survey projections, in April nearly 3.14 million Wisconsin residents were in the state’s labor force, either working or actively seeking work, DWD reported Thursday — 65.6% of the state’s population over the age of 16. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate for the month was almost three percentage points higher than that of the U.S., 62.7%.

The April report projected a drop of 1,300 in the number of unemployed people in Wisconsin, to 91,700, resulting in the unemployment rate decrease to 2.9%.

Based on the employer survey, Wisconsin’s projected job growth was highest in manufacturing, as well as retail and wholesale trade. Health care and social services jobs also rose by 1,300 for the month and 10,800 from a year ago, Winters observed.

The growth in those sectors was partially offset by a loss of 5,100 jobs in accommodation and food service, according to DWD, leaving the state with a projected net increase of 1,000 private sector jobs.

“We’re still on an upward trend of adding jobs,” Winters said. “Which means income and spending and the consumption side of things looks to be fairly healthy going forward yet.”

This story is republished from Wisconsin Examiner under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.

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