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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, January 29, 2023

State releases mixed jobs numbers

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dipped below five percent for the first time since 2008 in February, according to a revised jobs report released Thursday by the Department of Workforce Development.

The state’s DWD released the 4.8 percent unemployment rate number in a recently revised jobs report.

"The monthly data series suggests we are off to a strong economic start in 2015," said DWD Secretary Reginald Newson in a statement, noting the addition of 13,600 private sector jobs between January and February of this year is the best monthly jump since September 2003.

Despite the addition of those jobs, Wisconsin's job creation ranking continued to lag behind the rest of the country, dropping from 31st to 38th in the nation in the year-long cycle ending last September, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wisconsin tied Iowa for last place in the Midwest with private-sector job growth rates of 1.16 percent.

Democratic leaders were quick to criticize the new report.

"Even with Wisconsin continually lagging behind in job and wage growth on their watch, Republicans continue to focus their legislative efforts on divisive social issues and partisan power grabs instead of addressing the economic crisis they've created," said state Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, in a statement.

State Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, criticized the report, saying Wisconsin has lagged behind the national average ever since 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans first put policies into place.

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