CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen released the following statement on the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showing that Wisconsin ranked second highest in the country in the number of manufacturing jobs added year over year, and led the Midwest in the 12-month growth rate in manufacturing jobs.  Wisconsin’s year over year unemployment rate drop and gain of more than 34,000 jobs since September 2016 were also statistically significant, according to BLS.

“Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector continues to lead the way for Wisconsin’s economy, with the number of manufacturing jobs added in Wisconsin ranking second nationally year over year and our state’s growth rate leading other Midwest states,”  Secretary Allen said. “Additionally, Wisconsin’s 12-month gain in total employment and decline in unemployment through September 2016 are other indicators that Wisconsin’s economy is moving in a positive direction.

Highlights of today’s release by BLS include:

  • Wisconsin added the second-highest number of manufacturing jobs over the year at 12,600
  • Wisconsin ranked 1st in the Midwest in growth rate of manufacturing jobs year over year
  • Wisconsin’s year-over-year unemployment rate drop was statistically significant and significantly better than the national rate
  • Wisconsin’s year-over-year employment gains of 34,600 were statistically significant
  • Wisconsin percentage gains ranked 11th and 9th nationally for private sector and total non-farm jobs added over the month respectively
  • Wisconsin ranked 7th nationally for the number of manufacturing jobs added over the month

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

  • Initial Unemployment Insurance 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.
  • Additionally, 2017 YTD totals for both initial and continuing claims through week 39 are both below 2016 YTD totals for the same time period.
  • 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.” Additionally, both Kroll Bond Rating Agency and Fitch Ratings have upgraded Wisconsin’s bond rating to AA+, with the latter commenting, “The fiscal 2011-2013 budget marked a turning point, with extensive structural budget actions and the resolution of several lingering financial challenges.”

Today’s BLS release is available online.

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