FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for metro areas, major cities, and counties in Wisconsin. The estimates include updates for December 2016 and the preliminary estimates for January 2017. As these numbers are not seasonally adjusted, they are most appropriately compared year-over-year instead of month-over-month as rates often increase in the colder winter months due to the seasonality of the state economy. In brief, the not-seasonally adjusted estimates showed:
Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary January 2017 unemployment rates decreased in all areas over the year when compared to January 2016. The largest over the year decline was 0.6 percent in Fond du Lac. The latest rates ranged from 3.0 percent in Madison to 5.0 percent in Racine.
Municipalities: Preliminary January 2017 rates decreased in all of the state’s 32 largest municipalities when compared to January 2016. The latest rates ranged from 2.7 percent in Fitchburg and Madison to 5.7 percent in Racine.
Counties: Preliminary January 2017 rates decreased or stayed the same in 71 of 72 counties when compared to January 2016 rates. The largest over the year decline was 1.6 percent in Bayfield and Sawyer counties. The latest rates ranged from 2.9 percent in Dane to 8.0 percent in Bayfield.
The release of the January 2017 local rates follows last week’s release of BLS monthly estimates showing a preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in January 2017, dropping to its lowest rate since January 2001. Data also showed Wisconsin’s total employment increased by 20,500 over the year, meaning more people were employed than ever before in Wisconsin in January 2017 when compared to updated 2016 monthly estimates.
Other indicators of the state of Wisconsin’s economy include:
Initial UI claims ended 2016 at their lowest level since 1988. Year 2017 initial UI claims are running at their lowest levels since 1989.
Continuing unemployment claims ended 2016 at their lowest level since 1973. Continuing unemployment claims in Wisconsin are running the lowest in at least the past 30 years
Wisconsin’s January 2017 Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 68.1% and was 5.2 percentage points higher than the national rate of 62.9% during the month.
A preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.9% in January, down from 4.3% in January 2016 and below the national rate of 4.8%. The state’s 3.9% rate in January is down 0.2 points from the updated 4.1% unemployment rate in December 2016 and is the lowest rate since January 2001. Additionally, the number of unemployed individuals is at its lowest point since February 2001.