Friday, April 21, 2023

Wisconsin sinks to new low of 2.5% unemployment.

I keep waiting for this state’s job market to hit the wall, given that we reached unprecedented territory at the start of 2023. But things got even better last month.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to a record low 2.5% in March, besting the 2.7% record set in February and signaling a bright outlook for the state’s job seekers, according to federal data released Thursday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The total number of unemployed people in Wisconsin, adjusted for seasonal changes, dropped 6,400 over the month to 75,800, setting another record, the two surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found. That’s nearly 21,000 less than a year ago.

“We have, essentially, very few people… that are not engaged (in the labor force),” said Dennis Winters, a chief economist with the department, in a call with reporters Thursday. Those who aren’t may be homemakers, full-time students, independently wealthy, or struggling to find work because they don’t have child care, transportation or the requisite skills.
We also added another 900 jobs in Wisconsin, which set a new series high for total jobs, and we are now only 2,100 away from 3 million.

An Evers Administration Cabinet official linked the state’s record low unemployment with some pointed (and welcome) comments on what can allow us to keep growing in a situation where we seem to be maxed out.
The challenge currently facing the state is finding ways to get more people ready to fill current and future job openings, the department’s secretary designee Amy Pechacek said in a press release.

"Wisconsin's historic economic performance … demands that we continue efforts to remove employment barriers, invest in innovative solutions, and prepare our workforce for the green jobs of the future," Pechacek said, calling on the state to “adopt competitive approaches like paid family and medical leave."
That’s correct, as we need to be attracting workers at this point, and you do that by making working and living in Wisconsin something that’s worth pursuing. And you don’t do that with lousy wages or backwards social policies that only appear to small, self-absorbed faction of GOP interest groups.

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