Monday, November 20, 2023

A not-great WIsconsin jobs report. But still a decent position

Things can get buried as Thanksgiving approaches, but we did get a new Wisconsin jobs report late last week. Good overall situation, but not so great for the month itself.
Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin's unemployment rate was 3.2% in October, up from 3.1% in September and mirroring the 0.1% increase in the national unemployment rate, which was 3.9% in October compared to 3.8% the previous month. The number of unemployed people increased 5,400 over the month and increased by 8,500 over the year to 102,000, still remaining around record lows. The labor force gained 3,600 workers over the month for a total of 3,142,100 workers. The number of people employed decreased by 1,800 over the month for a total of 3,040,100 employed.

Place of Work Data: Total jobs increased by 32,800 over the year and decreased 1,400 over the month to 3,013,900 total jobs in October. Private sector jobs increased by 24,500 over the year and decreased by 2,800 over the month to 2,607,600. Health care and social assistance jobs grew by 13,600 over the year. Construction jobs decreased by 900 over the month and increased by 1,500 over the year.
Manufacturing had an even larger decline in October (-1,200), and continued the downward drift we have seen for most of 2023. Manufacturing's gains from September also got revised down by 1,300 jobs, meaning that Wisconsin has lost jobs in that sector for eight straight months.

Seems like something we may need to keep an eye on for 2024.

Construction's originally reported gains for September were also revised down (by 400), and October had only the second drop in construction jobs since March.

Also interesting was that Accomodation and Food Services was revised UP by 600….but then dropped by a seasonally adjusted 3,000 jobs in October after larger-than-normal seasonal layoffs. See where that heads for November as the weather cools and Holiday hospitality hires up.

One positive alluded to by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is the increase in work force participation, which rose by 3,600 in October and has gone up by nearly 74,000 in the last year. And while the state has seen a modest rise in its unemployment rate in the last year, we’ve also generally seen more Wisconsinites being added to the ranks of the “employed” over people losing their jobs.

It's not a great jobs, and as 2023 ends, it's clear that the torrid job growth of 2021 and 2022 has slowed down. I suppose we should expect that, but it leads me to wonder where more growth comes from in Wisconsin for 2024. Still, 3.2% unemployment is and increased numbers in the work force is a still-strong place to be at, and even if we maintain that in the next year, I'd take it.

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