Department of Workforce Development: Wisconsin local employment & unemployment estimates released
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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 for September 2017 and the preliminary estimates for October 2017. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted. In brief, the estimates showed:
Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary October 2017 unemployment rates decreased in all areas when compared over the year to October 2016 and in 11 of the 12 when compared over the month to September 2017. The rates ranged from 2.2 percent in Madison to 3.5 percent in Racine.
Municipalities: Preliminary October 2017 rates decreased in the state's 32 largest municipalities when compared over the year to October 2016 and decreased or remained the same in all 32 when compared over the month to September 2017. The largest over-the-year decline was 1.5 percentage points in Beloit. The latest rates ranged from 2.1 percent in Madison to 4.3 percent in Racine.
Counties: Preliminary October 2017 rates decreased in all 72 counties when compared over the year to October 2016 rates and decreased or remained the same in 69 of the 72 counties over the month when compared to September 2017. The largest over the year decline was 1.8 percentage points in Iron. The latest rates ranged from 2.1 percent in Lafayette to 4.8 percent in Menominee.
The release of the October 2017 local rates follows last week's release of BLS monthly estimates showing a preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in October 2017, down from 3.5 percent in September 2017. The data also showed that the state added 42,400 total non-farm jobs and 39,400 private-sector jobs from October 2016 to October 2017, with a significant year-over-year gain of 13,000 manufacturing jobs. Additionally, Wisconsin's ranked 2nd nationally and first in the Midwest in 12-month manufacturing job gains in October.
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.
Additionally, 2017 YTD totals for both initial and continuing claims through week 44 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."