State unemployment falls, job creation ranks 22nd

Madison’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in August, down from 5% in July, while updated jobs data shows that 24,305 private sector jobs were created in Wisconsin in the one-year period from March of 2012 to March of 2013. Wisconsin ranked 22nd in job creation in that period.

The figures are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and are released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The QCEW surveys roughly 95% of state employers, making it more reliable than monthly BLS reports that survey a much smaller sampling.

Statewide, the unemployment rate decreased in most Wisconsin counties in August but increased from 7.5% to 8.3% in Bayfield County, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 6.8% in August, compared to the national rate of 7.3%.

While the data suggests Wisconsin is in the middle of the pack in job creation, Gov. Scott Walker noted the state ranked 14th nationally in total construction jobs created (3,543) and 13th in the nation in total manufacturing jobs created (3,577) from March of 2012 to March of 2013. 

Walker also says the data does not include what he called Wisconsin's "record-setting" spring and summer period of economic growth. According to the BLS, a total of 28,100 private-sector jobs were created in Wisconsin during the four-month period between April of 2013 and July of 2013.

"These numbers show we are making significant progress, and they don't yet include the best summer Wisconsin's had in 23 years," Walker says.