Thursday, July 15, 2021

Wisconsin jobs, workers came back in June. Even more than they normally would

After a big US jobs report for June and stories about labor shortages in Wisconsin, it made today’s statewide jobs numbers intriguing, to see if the data was matching up here.

Sure enough, we also had gains in jobs and work force in Wisconsin last month, with good signs all around.
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of June 2021. The data shows that Wisconsin added 10,700 total non-farm and 8,400 private-sector jobs in the month of June. Wisconsin's unemployment rate in June was 3.9 percent, matching the May unemployment rate. Additionally, Wisconsin's labor force grew by 10,000 people in June, a statistically significant rate of growth according to BLS.

Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin's labor force participation rate in June was 66.3 percent, 0.2 percentage points higher than May's labor force participation rate, and 4.7 percent points higher than the national rate of 61.6 percent. Wisconsin's unemployment rate in June was 3.9 percent, while the national unemployment rate was 5.9 percent for June.
Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 8,400 private-sector and 10,700 total non-farm jobs in June 2021.
That all sounds pretty good, and if you dig further into the jobs figures, we see the gains were pretty widespread, and show that WMC/GOP memes about “lazy workers not wanting jobs” continue not to hold water.

That’s especially the case when you realize that most of those sectors had their job gains deflated due to seasonal adjustments, which count on a certain amount of people joining the work force and getting hired in June. But we went well above that amount in June 2021.

Wisconsin June 2021
Total jobs
Seasonally-adjusted +10,700
Non-seasonally adjusted +44,700

Private jobs
Seasonally-adjusted +8,400
Non-seasonally adjusted +54,000

Labor Force
Seasonally-adjusted +10,000
Non-seasonally adjusted +69,800

Seasonally-adjusted +8,700
Non-seasonally adjusted +50,200

Even the sectors that “lost” jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in Wisconsin were adding workers in reality. This includes construction (+8,100 NSA), manufacturing of non-durable goods (+2,000 NSA), health care and social assistance (+2,400 NSA), and arts/entertainment/recreation (+4,400 NSA).

Conversely, Wisconsin’s unemployment claims fell throughout much of June, and continued on a downward trend for July.

So if Wisconsin’s $300/week add-on is a disincentive for work, there’s nothing in the data that shows it. Likely because it’s been RW oligarch BS from the start.

From my observations, seeing that the Bucks had to ship in workers from out of state to handle all of the extra business this week, and adding in the large amount of “help wanted” signs I’ve seen in places in both the 715 and 608 area codes this month, I’d say hiring in Wisconsin still has yet to catch up to the huge jump in demand sparked by COVID vaccinations and the Biden Boom.

And in summary, it’s clear that Wisconsin ended the 2nd quarter of 2021 on a high note when it came to the jobs market. The question now becomes whether that momentum can keep up for the rest of the Summer with the increased work force and low unemployment rate.

UW's Menzie Chinn has a good breakdown of the Wisconsin jobs situation at Econbrowser that gives a wider lens into these numbers.

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