Unemployment in WI: 7.6 Percent

Friday, February 27th, 2009 at 7:04 am

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for January was 7.6 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from December’s 5.8 percent. The rate was 2.7 percentage points higher than the rate of 4.9 percent for Wisconsin in January of 2008.  The national rate for January was 8.5 percent, compared to 7.1 percent in December and 5.4 percent in January 2008.

“The jump in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate underscores the economic challenges we face as a nation and why we are taking strong action through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to put people to work,” Secretary Gassman said.  “In his budget, Governor Doyle has set a path for recovery, and here at DWD, we will do our part to help provide training and connect skilled workers with employers.”

From December to January, total Wisconsin non-farm jobs decreased by an estimated 87,900 to 2,755,600. Private sector jobs shrank by 72,500. Trade sector jobs fell by 17,600 over the month, Government jobs were down 15,400 and Manufacturing jobs decreased by 13,500.

Over the year, January 2009 showed a decline of 72,700 Wisconsin non-farm jobs. Manufacturing was down 31,700, Professional & Business Services were down 17,400 and Construction was down 11,000 jobs.  Educational & Health Services jobs increased 9,700.

The January survey of Wisconsin households showed 60,500 fewer employed compared to December, and 75,200 fewer employed than one year ago. Wisconsin’s civilian labor force decreased 6,400 to 3,073,700 in January, which was 8,200 more than January 2008.

Adjusted Data

The seasonally adjusted Wisconsin unemployment rate for January 2009 was 6.9 percent, up 1.0 percentage points from December 2008 and up 2.5 percentage points from January 2008.

Total state employment was down 43,600 from last month, and down 62,500 compared to one year ago.

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