Jobs set a record, more people want to work, but forecasts see growth easing

by Erik Gunn, Wisconsin Examiner December 23, 2023 Wisconsin’s economy continues to run strong according to new data from the state labor department. At the same time, however, forecasts are beginning to point to cooler times ahead. The projected number of jobs in the state reached a new record high in November, and the number of people who report they are currently working remains at close to a record, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported Thursday. “Students [who are] right now graduating have a great job market,” DWD economist Scott Hodek said at a briefing Thursday on Wisconsin’s November job and unemployment numbers. “We really do need more people. And because of that, if you’re a job seeker, this is a fantastic time. If you’re trying to hire, it’s a little tougher.” Based on a federal survey of employers, DWD reported that there were more than 3.02 million jobs in Wisconsin in November, “which is actually a new high,” Hodek said. Those include nearly 2.62 million private sector jobs. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and DWD have projected that more than 3.04 million people are employed in the state. That number is 1,800 more than in October and 66,500 more than November 2022. The employment numbers come from a separate federal survey of households that asks whether people are working or actively seeking work. They are distinct from the jobs numbers that count people based on where they are working. The state’s unemployment rate inched up to 3.3% as the number of unemployed people — defined as people who report they are actively seeking work — crept up to 104,200 in November. That was an increase of about 2,200 from October and 11,000 from November 2022, DWD reported. The change also reflects the fact that […]

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