Metro Madison jobless rate is 2.4%

In a month when preliminary data showed disappointing job-creation results statewide, Greater Madison’s unemployment rate remained the lowest in the state at 2.4%.

The preliminary August 2017 unemployment rates decreased or remained the same in nine of the state’s 12 metropolitan areas compared to July 2017. Metro Racine, the area that could most benefit from the Foxconn Technologies development, had the highest August unemployment rate with 4.6%.

Unemployment data is compiled by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for metro areas, major cities, and counties in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development releases the data each month.

In terms of municipalities, the largest over-the-year decline was 1.1 percentage points in Milwaukee and Janesville; the municipal unemployment rates ranged from 2.3% in Fitchburg and Madison to 6.1% in Racine.

Also according to the BLS, preliminary August 2017 rates decreased in 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties when compared to August 2016 rates. The largest over-the-year decline was 1.3 percentage points in Bayfield and Sawyer counties; the largest county rate was 7.5% in Menominee County.

Last week, the BLS reported a preliminary one-month decrease of 8,800 total non-farm and 5,200 private sector jobs in Wisconsin from July to August 2017, but those figures are based on a small sample of businesses and are subject to revision as more data comes in.