MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today celebrated the state’s continued strong economic success as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary data showing the state’s unemployment rate declined to a record low of 2.8 percent in December 2021. This is the lowest unemployment rate in state history, breaking the previous all-time low of 3 percent the state tied in November 2021. Additionally, as Wisconsin maintains incredibly high labor force participation, BLS data also show that the total number of Wisconsinites who are counted as unemployed also declined to 86,200, the lowest in state history.

“Folks, this is great news that everyone in our state should celebrate, and it’s evidence of the resilience and innovation of Wisconsinites across our state,” said Gov. Evers. “I’ll keep doing everything I can to bolster our state’s workforce and address the economic challenges facing our communities, whether it’s keeping more money in folks’ pockets as everyday costs go up, investing in childcare and community-led solutions for reducing barriers to employment, or continuing to work to bring skilled workers to our state.”

These record-low unemployment numbers come after Gov. Evers announced in June 2021 a $130 million investment in major initiatives to support innovative, statewide solutions to workforce challenges, including the Workforce Innovation Grant program, Worker Advancement Initiative, and Worker Connection Program. The Workforce Innovation Grant program has since provided $59.5 million in grants to 12 projects throughout the state aimed at developing community-led solutions to longstanding labor challenges.

These record-low unemployment numbers also come as the state’s General Fund last month recorded the largest positive balance in Wisconsin state history at the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This positive balance of $1.18 billion was the second consecutive year under Gov. Evers’ leadership that the state recorded a positive GAAP balance after the governor announced in 2020 that for the first time since the state began publishing its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) in 1990, the state was no longer running a deficit.

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