DWD: September Unemployment Rates Announced

Contact: Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753
Audio: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dwd/newsreleases/multimedia/ui_041021.mp3

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.8 percent in August to 5.0 percent in September. The national rate was unchanged at 5.4 percent. In September 2003, Wisconsin’s rate was 5.6 percent, while the national rate was 6.1 percent.

“The number of people reported unemployed last month was the lowest reported for the state in nearly three years, even though Wisconsin followed mostly seasonal patterns with some job decreases,” said Secretary Gassman. “Overall the number of jobs in September was up by 52,900 over last year’s September figure.”

Nonfarm wage and salary employment for the state decreased from 2,854,400 jobs in August to 2,851,200 jobs in September. Private sector employment in Wisconsin decreased by 24,400 jobs, as the leisure and hospitality and retail trade industries saw their normal seasonal change as the summer tourism season wound down. Manufacturing employment decreased by 5,200 jobs, and while not far from a normal seasonal change, it was the first month of losses in manufacturing since March. Manufacturing is still up 12,600 jobs over last year’s September figure. The industries to see gains over their August figures were transportation, warehousing and utilities, and education and health services. Nevertheless, overall the number of jobs in September was up by 52,900 over last year’s September figure. Many of the industries registering job losses over the month saw very nearly seasonal losses, such as construction and leisure and hospitality. Construction decreased 4,300 jobs – very nearly the seasonal norm. It is expected that construction will have had an annual record number of jobs as the year comes to an end.

The state’s unadjusted unemployment rate dropped from 4.4 percent in August to 4.1 percent in September, as the total number of people unemployed dropped to 126,510 the lowest unemployed figure since October 2001. The unemployment rate was also the state’s lowest rate since October 2001. Last year in October the state reported a 4.7 percent unemployment rate.

The national unadjusted rate for September was 5.1 percent compared to 5.4 percent in August and 5.8 percent in September 2003.

September employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available October 20. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi