Thursday, November 14, 2019

Another month with job loss and higher unemployment in Wisconsin

Thursday featured another Wisconsin jobs report, and it continued the same, stagnant theme that we have seen for the better part of the last 2 years.

Wisconsin jobs change

Oct 2019
-1,200 total jobs, -1,100 private sector
-1,300 manufacturing

Sept 2019 revision
-1,200 total jobs, -700 private sector
-700 manufacturing

Revised Sept total +600 all jobs, +100 private sector, -2,900 manufacturing

Oct 2018 – Oct 2019
+16,500 total jobs, +17,200 private sector
-7,700 manufacturing

Sadly, that year-over-year total jobs number is actually better than the prior 2 months. Because while the state had a small jobs decline in September and October of 2019, Wisconsin lost 13,400 jobs in Sept and Oct of 2018. Yikes!

I’ll also point out that with two straight months of notable losses in manufacturing, we now have only 100 more manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin than we had 2 years ago. That’s in a time period when the rest of the country has added nearly 300,000 jobs in manufacturing. Again, why is WisGOP still insisting on a tax cut of $300 million a year to “manufacturers” in Wisconsin without ANY requirement of job growth?

The household figures that go into determining the unemployment rate was also more of the same. It rose by 0.1% for the fifth straight month, and while it’s at a still-low 3.3%, that’s the highest in more than 2 years. While the Wisconsin labor force grew by 300 in October, the number of people in the state identifying as “employed” continued to fall.

Going further back, the number of “employed” Wisconsinites has declined by more than 30,000 since peaking in early 2018, and is now at its lowest level in since Trump took office in January 2017. So Trump thinks he can win Wisconsin this time next year by selling his “great economy”? That ain’t happening Donnie.

People on the ground can see that things are already in decline today. And given that the economy is likely to be slower in Nov 2020 than now, with a WisGOP Legislature not doing anything to change the losing policies they put in place, how is this slide going to stop over the next 12 months?


  1. Any idea why the MN jobs number for October was so different at +7400 than WI? It seems odd that two states side by side would have completely opposite results. They appear to have nothing in common when the results are this opposite. Any thoughts??

    1. Could be monthly variation. Minnesota had largely maxed out in recent months on jobs as well, but their unemployment rate has leveled out in recent months while Wisconsin has now passed them.

      Next week has a new QCEW report through June 2019, and both states were reported to be stalling out on the monthly reports at that time. So we'll seer what it says

    2. Do you think it's possible that the MN unemployment rate has been moving around more due to pulling in new residents from other states that are not initially employed until they start looking for work? The unfilled jobs report this fall indicated a record number of unfilled positions in the state at that time of year. Is there a similar report in WI that tracks unfilled positions? If there is, is it currently similar to the number of unfilled jobs in MN? The MN report is released quarterly so we should get an updated number around the start of the new year. The reason I'm asking is because I'd like to know if the number in both states is similar for the same reason or could it be similar because WI is not bringing in new residents and is actually losing more jobs with lack of other jobs for those losing positions vs MN possibly adding more residents that initially not working and finding work and being replaced by more new unemployed residents because the number of unfilled jobs should be falling instead of rising right?