MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of May. The data showed that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remained at a record low of 2.8 percent.

In brief:

  • Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May remained at 2.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in May 2018. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 67.3 percent in May 2019, down from 68.1 percent in May 2018. The national unemployment rate and labor force participation rate in May were 3.6 percent and 62.8 percent respectively.

  • Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 19,600 private-sector jobs from May 2018 to May 2019, and 15,000 total non-farm jobs over the same time period. From April 2019 to May 2019, Wisconsin added 1,800 private-sector jobs and 1,700 total non-farm jobs.

“May’s labor numbers underscore the importance of being more creative and inclusive in our workforce recruitment, retention, and advocacy efforts,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. “With national unemployment below 4 percent and Wisconsin’s below 3 percent, it is incumbent upon the state to invest in areas of the highest return: Upskilling underemployed workers, advocating for those already in the workforce, and removing barriers for those on the employment sidelines, such as the cost of childcare and inadequate transportation options in both urban and rural areas of our state.”

Today’s full report can be viewed on DWD’s premier source for labor market information,

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