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MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revisions for June and preliminary estimates for July covering employment and job statistics for the state of Wisconsin. In brief, the seasonally adjusted estimates show:

  • Place of work data: Based on preliminary data, the state added 26,500 total non-farm jobs and 25,000 private-sector jobs from July 2016 to July 2017, with a significant year-over-year gain of 9,600 manufacturing jobs. The state added 3,600 total non-farm and 100 private sector jobs over the month.
  • Place of residence data:  A preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.2 percent in July 2017, up slightly from 3.1 percent in June. The rate remains lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.3 percent in July 2017. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate decreased slightly to 68.8 percent and continues to outpace the U.S. rate of 62.9 percent in July.

DWD Secretary Ray Allen issued the following statement: “Following the announcement that Foxconn will be bringing 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin, it is exciting to see that our economy continues to experience year-over-year job growth, specifically 9,600 jobs in manufacturing. Under Governor Walker, Wisconsin’s economy is performing at historic or near historic levels. The Governor’s investments in workforce and economic development have prepared Wisconsin for this once in a generation opportunity to bring thousands of family sustaining jobs and years of prosperity to the citizens of Wisconsin.”

New Quarterly Job & Wage Data – First Quarter 2017

Today, DWD also released the latest available QCEW figures covering the first quarter of 2017. Key highlights of 12-month changes through March 2017 include:

  • A gain of 27,723 private-sector jobs.
  • An increase of 29,745 total jobs.
  • A 7.7 percent increase in total quarterly private sector wages.

Wisconsin has received the BLS’ sign-off on the state quarterly data covering the first quarter of 2017. The BLS will incorporate the data in its next QCEW release scheduled for September 6. Information about the QCEW, including data through 2016 fourth quarter, can be accessed through the BLS website at DWD will post the first-quarter data on its WORKnet site in the coming days.

The BLS uses three data sets to measure employment and unemployment:

  • Current Employment Statistics (CES): compiled from a monthly survey sent to about 5,500 employers (3.5 percent of Wisconsin employers). CES data has been shown to be volatile and subject to revision.
  • Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS): compiled from a monthly survey of 985 households and unemployment insurance claims. Measures the labor force, employment, unemployment, and the unemployment rate.
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW): compiled quarterly based on Unemployment Insurance records from some 96% of Wisconsin business establishments. Considered by most economists to be the most accurate measure of jobs, the QCEW includes data from almost all employers in Wisconsin.

Other indicators of the state of Wisconsin’s economy include:

  • Initial UI claims ended 2016 at their lowest level in their last 30 years. Year 2017 initial UI claims are running at the lowest in at least the past 30 years.
  • Continuing unemployment claims ended 2016 at their lowest level since 1973. Continuing unemployment claims in Wisconsin are running at the lowest in at least the past 30 years.
  • Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the states credit rating, noting that “(T)he stable outlook reflects the expectation that the state will experience moderate economic growth and will continue its prudent fiscal management practices.”
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