Unemployment rate drops below 3 percent

Posted at 11:30 a.m. on March 22, 2019

The Brillion News

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on Thursday released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of February. The data show that Wisconsin added 11,400 total non-farm jobs and 19,300 private-sector jobs from Feb. 2018 to Feb. 2019.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.9 percent in February from 3 percent in January. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 67.5 percent in February, over 4 percentage points higher than the national rate.

In brief: • Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 2.9 percent, down from 3 percent in January. The national unemployment rate in February was 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent in January. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate for February was 67.5 percent. • Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 11,400 total non-farm jobs and 19,300 private-sector jobs from Feb. 2018 to Feb. 2019. Wisconsin private-sector employment decreased 300 from Jan. 2019 to Feb. 2019. Total non-farm employment decreased by 3,400, mostly due to the loss of 3,100 government jobs, over the same time period.

“Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropping to 2.9 percent is indicative of an historically tight labor market,” DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman said. “We look forward to working with our statewide partners, fellow agencies, and the legislature to deliver targeted training, expand the labor force by removing barriers to employment, and advocating for quality of life gains for the vast majority of Wisconsinites in the workforce who are working hard to make ends meet.”

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