Dept. of Workforce Development: BLS Data: Wisconsin achieves record high employment

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimates for May 2024, which showed Wisconsin’s employment hit a record high of 3,048,000 during the month. This is 6,500 more people employed than a year ago.

Preliminary employment estimates for May 2024 showed Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.9%, which is more than a full percentage point below the national unemployment rate of 4.0% in May. The state’s labor force participation rate held steady at 65.6% in May, while the national rate fell to 62.5%.

  • Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remained at 2.9% in May, 1.1 percentage points below the national rate of 4.0%. The labor force gained 900 workers over the month for a total of 3,140,500 workers. The number of people employed hit a new high in May, with a total of 3,048,000 employed. DWD last announced a record number of people employed in March 2024.
  • Place of Work Data: Total nonfarm jobs decreased 1,500 over the month and increased 28,700 over the year to a total of 3,037,400 jobs. Private sector jobs added 2,300 over the month, hitting a record high 2,630,300 jobs. DWD last announced a private sector nonfarm job record in March 2024.

“Wisconsin’s economy continues to gain momentum, setting new records in state employment and private jobs,” said DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek. “The state’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate, as well. These numbers validate what we know is true: Wisconsin residents are eager to work, employers are eager to employ them, and DWD endeavors to support sustainable employment opportunities for all.”

The data included in today’s release can be accessed at