Unemployment in Wisconsin construction hits 17-year low

Posted at 1:25 p.m. on May 3, 2017

The Brillion News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Construction unemployment for the month of March in Wisconsin dipped to its lowest level in 17 years, according to not seasonally adjusted (NSA) numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The data released by the national office of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) shows Wisconsin’s construction unemployment at 10.3 percent in March, down 2.4 percent from February and nearly a full percentage lower than the 11.2 percent in March 2016, the third lowest on record. The not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate in March was only a half a percentage above the state’s record low for the month, which was 9.8 percent in March 2000.

“Wisconsin experienced one of the more impressive improvements in construction industry unemployment,” said John Mielke, president of ABC Wisconsin Chapter.

The rate change from February equates to more than 5,000 additional construction workers employed over a one month period.

“This was the lowest national NSA March construction unemployment rate on record, matching the 8.4 percent rate in March 2001,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “BLS data also showed that the industry employed 184,000 more workers than in March 2016. The Badger State saw the fifth best monthly improvement in the country with its rate dropping 2.4 percent from February. In sum, the construction sector remains healthy even as employers cope with shortages of skilled construction workers.”

For comparison, Minnesota (10.7) and Illinois (11.7) had higher construction unemployment in March, while Iowa (5.4) had lower construction unemployment.

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