DWD: January Unemployment Rates Announced

For Immediate Release:
Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753
Actuality Recording (866) 556-7623

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January is estimated at 5.0 percent, lower than the national average of 5.6 percent and the 5.8 percent rate of one year ago in January 2003. The rate is also lower than the December 2003 rate of 5.4 percent.

“The January report is very encouraging news for Wisconsin. We are happy to see job gains across most industry groups, but mindful that these gains have not yet spread to the manufacturing sector,” said Secretary Gassman

The state’s unadjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.0 percent, which was the lowest January unemployment rate for the state since January 2001.

There were 3,086,003 Wisconsin residents in the labor market with 2,902,336 reported employed and 183,667 unemployed. January, February and March are generally the three months in Wisconsin when unemployment is at its highest level, but the January estimates show this to be the smallest number of people unemployed in January in Wisconsin since January 2001.

There were 2,741,100 jobs estimated in Wisconsin’s nonfarm wage and salary economy in January, compared to 2,793,900 in December. The decrease of jobs between December and January of 52,800 is the smallest decrease in over a decade, and well below the norm of 81,800 for the 1990 to 2003 period. Seasonally adjusted, the job market gained 16,000 jobs over the December 2003 figure. There were 30,600 more jobs in January 2004 than there had been in January 2003.

In seasonally adjusted job figures, every major industry in Wisconsin increased between December and January except manufacturing, financial activities, other services, and government. Trade, transportation and utilities gained 6,800 jobs seasonally adjusted. Construction gained 4,000 jobs. Professional and business services gained 4,300 jobs. Private education and health care services gained 2,700 jobs. Leisure and hospitality gained 4,000 jobs. Manufacturing lost 1,700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, financial activities lost 100 jobs, other services lost 2,400 jobs and government lost 1,800 jobs.

January employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available March 10. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.