Dept. of Workforce Development: 5 years and counting: Unemployment rates decline or hold steady in all 12 WI metro areas for 60th consecutive month

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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 to September 2018 and preliminary estimates for October 2018. Unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The estimates show:

• Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary October 2018 year-over-year unemployment
rates declined in all 12 of Wisconsin’s metro areas compared to October 2017. This marks
the 60th consecutive month in which unemployment rates in the 12 Wisconsin MSAs have
dropped or remained unchanged when compared to the same month in the prior year. The
last month in which this trend did not occur was October 2013. The Janesville-Beloit MSA
tied its record low unemployment rate for any month since 1990 at 2.8 percent.
• Municipalities: Preliminary October 2018 year-over-year unemployment rates declined or
stayed the same in 31 of Wisconsin’s 32 largest cities compared to October 2017. Fifteen of
Wisconsin’s 32 largest cities set or tied their lowest October unemployment rate on record.
• Counties: Compared to October 2017, preliminary October 2018 year-over-year
unemployment rates declined or remained unchanged in 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with 21 counties setting or tying their all-time record low unemployment rate for October.

The release of October 2018 local rates follows last week’s release of BLS monthly statewide estimates which showed that Wisconsin maintained a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3 percent or lower for the ninth consecutive month, setting another record. The data also showed that Wisconsin’s addition of 20,000 manufacturing jobs from October 2017 to October 2018 ranked 2nd nationally and was No. 1 in the Midwest.

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

• Initial UI claims ended 2017 at their lowest level in the last 30 years.
• Continuing unemployment claims ended 2017 at their lowest level since 1973.
• Moody’s Investor Service recently upgraded the state’s 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.”

The data included in today’s release can be accessed on the WisConomy website.

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