DWD: July Unemployment Rates Announced

For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 19, 2004

Contact: Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753

Web Audio: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dwd/newsreleases/multimedia/ui_081904.mp3

Despite Some Improvement, More Than 76,000 Manufacturing Jobs Lost Over Past Four Years, and 147,000 Workers Still Need Jobs

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that Wisconsin’s preliminary unemployment rate for July is 4.6 percent compared to 5.1 percent in June and 5.7 percent in July 2003. Despite gaining 12,000 manufacturing jobs in the past year, the state is still more than 76,000 manufacturing jobs short of where it was four years ago, and more than 147,000 Wisconsin workers still need jobs.

“Governor Doyle has a plan for economic development in Wisconsin and that plan is working,” said Secretary Gassman. “Wisconsin is continuing to do better than our neighbors at creating jobs, while the Bush Administration still doesn’t have a plan to improve the national economy. Even in Wisconsin, we still have a long way to go — particularly when it comes to manufacturing.”

The national rate for July 2004 was 5.7 percent, compared to 5.8 percent in June 2004, and 6.3 percent for July 2003. The seasonally adjusted rate in Wisconsin for July is 4.7 percent compared to 5.0 percent in June and 5.8 percent in July 2003. The national seasonally adjusted rate for July 2004 is 5.5 percent, down slightly from the 5.6 percent for June 2004.

Wisconsin’s job market, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Survey, continues to show overall improvement. Total nonfarm wage and salary jobs for July 2004 are estimated at 2,846,400; up 48,800 over last year’s job total for July and down 22,400 from the June figure. A reduction in jobs between June and July is a standard seasonal change for Wisconsin. The average drop is about 24,400; largely from summer employment decreases in local public school employment. Local public education was responsible for a reduction of 28,600 jobs statewide, while the private sector added 10,900 jobs.

The construction industry had 139,000 jobs for July, the highest July total on record. Construction added 4,800 jobs over the June total and was up 3,100 jobs over the July figure for 2003. May and June were slow for construction in Wisconsin due to very wet conditions.

The trade sector continues to show growth, particularly the wholesale trade. The 118,700 jobs in wholesale trade last month were an all time high for July.

July employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available August 25. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi