DWD: February Unemployment Rates Announced

Contact: 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 4.8 percent in February. Wisconsin’s rate is unchanged when compared to February 2005. The nation’s seasonally adjusted rate was also 4.8 percent in February, down from 5.4 percent in February 2005. In January 2006, Wisconsin’s rate was 4.5 percent.

Unadjusted Data

Wisconsin’s preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate for February, at 5.7 percent, is the lowest unemployment rate for the month since February 2001. February’s rate is up from January’s estimated 5.0 percent rate. Wisconsin’s labor force has 28,500 more employed and 5,100 fewer unemployed residents compared to February 2005. The February 2006 unemployment rate is two-tenths of a percentage point lower than February 2005.

“With the lowest February unemployment rate in five years, nearly 28,500 more people working and some 5,100 fewer unemployed in Wisconsin than one-year-ago, we have strong evidence that the state’s labor market is moving in a positive direction,” Secretary Gassman said.

Wisconsin’s nonfarm wage and salary employment estimates posted a preliminary total of 2,807,900 jobs in February. February’s total is 11,500 jobs higher than January’s. The majority of this net gain in the Service Producing Sector was centered in state and local government employment, reflecting an increase in educational institutions’ employment after the holiday break. Construction and manufacturing employment decreased over the month by 1,300 jobs and 1,000 jobs, respectively, yet both sectors show significant growth annually. Manufacturing employment is 4,000 jobs higher than in February 2005, and construction payrolls have increased by 10,600 jobs. The state’s overall job total is 41,900 jobs higher than last February’s total.

February employment and unemployment figures for individual counties will be available March 29, 2006. This release also is available at HTUhttp://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/UTH.