WI Unemployment Rate Drops

Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:54 am

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for May was 8.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from April’s 8.8 percent, and down 0.7 percentage points from March’s 9.4 percent. The May rate was 4.5 percentage points higher than the rate of 4.2 percent for Wisconsin in May of 2008.  The national rate for May was 9.1 percent, compared to 8.6 percent in April and 9.0 percent in March. The national rate for May is 3.9 percentage points higher than the 5.2 percent recorded in May 2008.

“While the global recession continues to impact workers and families across Wisconsin, we are working hard to meet the employment needs of job seekers and employers, and we are taking decisive action through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide training, connect workers with skills, and put people back to work,” Secretary Gassman said.

From April to May, total Wisconsin non-farm jobs increased by an estimated 33,900 to 2,769,900.  Goods Producers added 5,800 jobs, while Service Producers gained 28,100 jobs over the month.  Among Service producers, Leisure & Hospitality led the way with an increase of 18,300 jobs over the month, followed by Professional and Business Services, up 5,400. The Construction sector led Goods Producers, with an increase of 10,100.

Over the year, May 2009 showed a decline of 133,800 Wisconsin non-farm jobs. Goods Producers were down 78,400, mostly in Manufacturing, which was down 61,500.  Service sector jobs declined by 55,400 over the year, led by Professional & Business Services, which lost 21,900 jobs.

The May survey of Wisconsin households showed 4,700 more employed than in May, and 121,700 fewer employed than one year ago. Wisconsin’s civilian labor force was up 1,200 to 3,086,800 in May, an increase of 19,500 over May 2008.

Adjusted Data

The seasonally adjusted Wisconsin unemployment rate for May 2009 was 8.9 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from April 2009 and up 4.5 percentage points from May 2008.  The national seasonally adjusted May 2009 rate was 9.4 percent. This compares to 8.9 percent in April 2009, 8.5 percent in March 2009 and 5.5 percent in May 2008.

Total state employment was down 13,800 over the month and down 112,400 over the year.

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