Dept. of Workforce Development: Wisconsin adds 11,100 total non-farm jobs in January; unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of January 2021. The data shows that Wisconsin added 11,100 total non-farm and 7,000 private-sector jobs in the month of January. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in January was 3.8 percent, down from 4.0 percent in December 2020.

  • Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in January was 65.5, 4.1 percent higher than the national rate of 61.4 percent. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in January was 3.8 percent, while the national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in the same month.
  • Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 7,000 private-sector and 11,100 total non-farm jobs from December 2020 to January 2021. Both non-farm and private sector jobs were lower in January 2021 than they were in January 2020.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged workers and businesses across Wisconsin and the nation,” DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. “Our unemployment rate in January was 3.8 percent, approaching pre-pandemic levels, and that should be celebrated. However, we also know impact of this pandemic is not over. Looking ahead to recovery in 2021, DWD will continue working tirelessly to help people gain employment or enter training programs that match their skills and career goals, focusing resources to align with emerging opportunities we are seeing in the post-pandemic job market trends.”

BLS also recently published “benchmarked” estimates for the monthly employment and unemployment data sets covering 2020 and prior years. The benchmarking process is designed to bring the sample-based series into closer alignment with the actual job counts from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). 

“Benchmarking is a process that realigns the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey data with the actual data as supplied by the latest Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data,” said Dennis Winters, Chief Labor Economist.  “The CES is a sample of jobs at employers conducted across the nation.  The QCEW are data as reported to UI by all firms in Wisconsin covered by the unemployment insurance system.”

Today’s full report can be viewed on DWD’s premier source for labor market information,