DWD: February Unemployment Rates Announced

Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753

Adjusted Data

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in February, up one-tenth of a percentage point from January and lower than last February’s rate by five-tenths of a point. The nation’s seasonally adjusted rate in February was 5.4 percent increasing two-tenths of a percentage point since January. Compared to February 2004, the nation’s seasonally adjusted rate is two-tenths of a percentage point lower.

Unadjusted Data

The state’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2005 showed improvement over February 2004, although a slight increase over the prior month. Wisconsin’s rate was 5.8 percent in February, three-tenths of a percentage point lower than one year ago, but an increase of four-tenths of a percentage point over January 2005. Wisconsin’s February unadjusted unemployment rate matched the national rate, also 5.8 percent in February; up one-tenth of a percentage point over January. The nation’s unadjusted rate one year ago was 6.0 percent.

“February figures show a normal seasonal rise in unemployment but are also well below figures from one year ago. This improvement and the increase in non farm employment since February 2004, provides more evidence of Wisconsin’s improving job market,” Secretary Gassman said.

Preliminary estimates of the state’s total nonfarm wage and salary employment measured 2,765,400 jobs. February’s total was 15,700 jobs higher than January’s final total of 2,749,700 jobs. Wisconsin has 38,100 more jobs than it did compared to February 2004 for growth of 1.4 percent. The industry sectors showing the most significant annual job growth were education and health services, up 12,000 jobs; government, up 6,000 jobs; construction, up 5,800 jobs; and manufacturing, up 5,300 jobs.

February employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available March 30. This release also is available at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/