DWD: Nov. Unemployment Rates Announced

Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753

The highest November employment on record


Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that the unadjusted preliminary unemployment rate estimate for Wisconsin in November was 4.2 percent, a very slight increase from October’s 4.1 percent rate and below the national rate of 5.2 percent. The number of people estimated to be employed in November was 2,982,511, the highest total for a November on record. The number of people estimated to be unemployed in Wisconsin was 130,009, the lowest November total since November 2000.

“Wisconsin’s job market showed marked improvement in November with the lowest number of unemployed for that month in four years, and the most people employed in any November ever recorded,” Secretary Gassman said. “Although we are encouraged by the steadily improving numbers for Wisconsin, we know there is still more work to be done to grow the state’s economy.”

Job growth continued for the state in November, with 2,872,600 nonfarm wage and salary jobs reported – an increase of 4,500 from the October figure of 2,868,100 and up 67,600 from the November 2003 figure of 2,805,000. Trade, both retail and wholesale, showed good strength in the state, adding 12,700 jobs.

Although November is usually a slowdown period for many industries in Wisconsin, such as construction and manufacturing, the reduction in jobs were minimal in those industries. Construction dropped by only 2,700 jobs, while the norm for this time of year is about 3,100; and manufacturing dropped by only 1,000 jobs while the norm is about 1,900 for this time of year. The food-manufacturing sector is the manufacturing sector that primarily slows down this time of year as the vegetable growing and canning season in Wisconsin has come to the end of its season. The professional, technical and business sector dropped about 2,800 jobs, slightly more than its norm, and the leisure and hospitality industry dropped 9,700 jobs, slightly exceeding the normal decrease for that industry, which measures much of the tourism activity. Some of the slack in tourism is very likely due to the unseasonably mild weather that has hampered normal winter tourism in northern counties.

The government sector saw an increase in November, which was attributable to local education reaching full strength, as well as poll workers working during the November elections.


Unemployment rates continue to record recovery for the state, as November’s seasonally adjusted rate was estimated to be 4.8 percent, the fourth seasonally adjusted monthly rate below 5.0 percent this year. Last year the seasonally adjusted rate for November was 5.4 percent and the October 2004 seasonally adjusted rate was 5.0 percent. The national seasonally adjusted rate for November was 5.4 percent.

November employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available December 21. This release also is available at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/