DWD: May 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 preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was estimated at 4.7 percent for May 2005. This marks 12 consecutive months for which the state’s seasonally adjusted rate has been lower than 5.0 percent. The April 2005 seasonally adjusted rate is estimated at 4.5 percent, while May of 2004 was estimated at 5.0 percent.

Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been below the national rate since April of 2003. The national seasonally adjusted rate for May 2005 was estimated at 5.1 percent, while April was 5.2 percent and May of 2004 was 5.6 percent.

Unadjusted Data

The unadjusted unemployment rate for the state in May was 4.6 percent, down from April’s 4.7 percent, lower than last year’s May figure of 4.8 percent, and better than the national rate for May, which is at 4.9 percent. Lower unemployment rates are largely the result of strong growth in employment, coupled with slow growth in the labor force, causing a substantial drop in the number estimated to be unemployed. There were 138,834 Wisconsin residents identified as unemployed in May, nearly 8,000 below last year’s May figure. The state has seen fewer claims for unemployment insurance over the last 10 months as well.

“The positive trend of more people working and fewer reported as unemployed is good news for Wisconsin workers and their families,” Secretary Gassman said. “In spite of the fact that Wisconsin is seeing a less than five percent unemployment rate, there are still some Wisconsin residents who are not benefiting from the recovery as greatly as they should.”

Nonfarm wage and salary jobs in the state were estimated at 2,844,500 in May, up 27,000 jobs from last year’s May figure and up 37,200 from the April 2005 figure. Construction was up 5,500 jobs, manufacturing was up 2,900 jobs, wholesale trade was up 2,300 jobs, transportation and warehousing was up 1,600 jobs, information was up 800 jobs, professional and business services was up 1,200 jobs, private education was up 5,800 jobs, health care services was up 4,200 jobs, leisure and hospitality was up 5,700 jobs, other services was up 300 jobs and government was up 700 jobs, from last year’s May figures. Construction employment is up some 4,300 jobs over last year’s record pace.

The national unadjusted rate for May was 4.9 percent which was also the rate for April. The national unadjusted rate for May 2004 was 5.3 percent.

May employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available June 22, 2005. This release also is available at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/.