Economist says state seeing record low number of unemployed people

DWD chief economist Dennis Winters said the state is seeing a record low number of people unemployed.

The unemployment rate in December dipped to 2.8 percent, down from 3 percent the month before. That tied the all-time low for Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the number of people employed in December was just north of 3 million, about 48,000 more than in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

That is playing out against a backdrop of employers searching for people to fill open jobs in numerous sectors across the Wisconsin economy.

Winters said the state’s workforce has been flat at around 3.1 million since late 2010, a result of an aging workforce with the Baby Boom generation retiring.

“The economy keeps growing, and the workforce doesn’t,” Winters said.

DWD’s release also notes the number of state residents counted as unemployed reached a record low of 86,200 last month. The previous low for the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment number was 88,236, set in May 1999, according to a DWD spokesperson.

The state gained 5,300 private-sector jobs over the month, with much of that growth driven by the manufacturing sector, which added 4,800 jobs. Private-sector employment increased by 63,300 jobs over the year, the release shows.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 3.9 percent.

See the DWD release: