Wisconsin unemployment declines to 5.4% in October

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Place of residence data: A preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in October, down from 5.5 percent in September and from 6.5 percent in October 2013. The 5.4 percent rate marks a new post-Recession low for the state and is lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

Place of work data: A year-over-year increase in private-sector jobs by a statistically significant 31,000 from October 2013 to October 2014 on a preliminary basis (seasonally adjusted), and monthly gain of 4,000 private sector jobs. One third of the year-over-year gain in private-sector jobs came in the form of 12,100 manufacturing jobs, also statistically significant.

DWD Secretary Reggie Newson issued the following statement: “Wisconsin’s monthly unemployment declined again last month, reaching 5.4% which is the lowest rate since October 2008. In addition, a revised September private sector job gain of 8,100 made the month the strongest September in over a decade. As our economy grows stronger, we will continue to support innovative talent development solutions that ensure job creators have the skilled workers they need to stay competitive and move our state forward.”
The BLS uses three data sets to measure employment and unemployment:

Current Employment Statistics (CES): compiled from a monthly survey sent to about 5,500 employers (3.5% of Wisconsin employers). CES data has been shown to be volatile and subject to revision.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS): compiled from a monthly survey of 1,450 households. Measures the labor force, employment, unemployment, and the unemployment rate.

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW): compiled on a quarterly basis from Unemployment Insurance records from some 96% of Wisconsin business establishments. Considered by most economists to be the most accurate measure of jobs, the QCEW includes data from almost all employers in Wisconsin.

Other indicators that help illustrate the state of Wisconsin’s economy include:

Initial weekly Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims for the first 45 weeks of 2014 dropped to the lowest point since 2000, and the annual average weekly UI claims are at their lowest levels since 2000.

Department of Financial Institutions new business formation: up 5.9 percent during the ten months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

Forbes magazine recently ranked Wisconsin first in the Midwest for projected growth in its “Best States for Business” rankings.