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MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen released the following statement following today’s U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release showing Wisconsin outpaced all neighboring states in rate of growth for manufacturing jobs over the year ending in March 2017, finishing the year with the 15th best manufacturing growth rate in the nation.

“Wisconsin’s economy continues to grow under Governor Scott Walker,” Secretary Ray Allen said. “Today’s rankings show Wisconsin continuing to be one of the nation’s leaders in the manufacturing industry, outpacing all neighboring states and coming in at 15th in the nation for year-over-year growth rate. On top of this, Wisconsin’s 3.4 percent unemployment rate is its lowest since April 2000 as we are experiencing the highest total labor force and employment numbers in our state’s history.”

Highlights of Friday’s BLS release of state-by-state employment and unemployment data for March 2017 include:
Wisconsin ranked 15th in the nation in manufacturing growth rate compared to March 2016.
Wisconsin out-ranked all neighboring states in the Midwest in manufacturing growth rate when compared to March 2016.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate of 3.4 percent is at its lowest point since April 2000, and is significantly lower than the national rate of 4.5 percent.
Wisconsin’s year-over-year unemployment rate decrease of 0.7 percent was statistically significant.
Wisconsin’s month-over-month unemployment rate decrease of 0.3 percent was statistically significant.

Other indicators of Wisconsin’s strong economy include:
Initial UI claims ended 2016 at their lowest level in their last 30 years. 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.

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