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Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
STATE ISSUES LABOR DAY REPORT
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development today issued a Labor Day Report summarizing the state of the Wisconsin workforce.
"The Labor Day Report provides a great summary of what has happened to our workforce over the past year, including information on employment numbers, wage data, women in the workplace, industrial information and important analysis," DWD Secretary Jennifer Alexander said. "Not only is this a great resource for students or researchers, it can be a valuable tool for anyone wishing to learn more about the Wisconsin workforce
The report also contains information about the national economy and Wisconsin’s reaction to it.
Economic difficulties experienced nationwide in 2001 and compounded by the September terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., took their toll on Wisconsin’s economy. As a result, Wisconsin responded immediately, becoming the first state to extend unemployment benefits for out of work job seekers. And, knowing that short-term relief was not enough, Governor McCallum initiated the development of a long-term strategic plan for the state that would help build economic vitality in the state for years to come.
One interesting aspect of the report, according to state economists, is the way that it highlights the possible before and after affects of September 11 on Wisconsin’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate began 2001 at 4.1 percent seasonally adjusted in January, rising to its highest pre-September 11 rate of 4.6 percent in June and again in July before falling off to 4.5 percent in August and September. In October the rate went up to 4.7 percent and rose again in November and December to 4.9 percent both months. In January 2002, the rate went above five percent for the first time since 1994. It hit 5.8 percent in February, 5.7 percent in March and 5.4 percent in April. Since then, rates have fallen back below five percent to 4.8 percent in May, 4.9 percent in June and 4.7 percent in July.
Even the manufacturing sector, which is a vital part of Wisconsin’s economy and also the hardest hit sector during the economic downturn, has seen improvements in recent months. Down by as many as 35,000 jobs from year-ago figures in November 2001, that sector lagged behind by less than 15,000 jobs in July 2002, compared to last July.
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