March unemployment data points to progress for Wisconsin 

In a press release on Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of March 2023, which showed Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 2.5%. 

The total number of unemployed people dropped by 6,400 over the month of March and by 8,600 over the year to a new record low of 76,600. Total seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 900 over the month of March, service jobs by 3,200, and private sector jobs by 200. Construction and manufacturing jobs both declined for the month but remain up year over year. The total jobs number puts the state 3,900 jobs above the pre-COVID-19 peak in January 2020. 

Wisconsin’s record low unemployment rate of 2.5% for March is down 0.2 percentage points from February’s rate of 2.7%, which was the previous record low. The state’s labor force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point over the month to 64.6%. Nationwide for the month of March, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5% with a labor force participation rate of 62.6%.