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March 2003 Unemployment Rates Released |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
MARCH UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED
MADISON – Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March is estimated at 5.5 percent, up from February’s figure of 5.3 percent. The nation’s seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 5.7 percent.
"Wisconsin has one of the nation’s largest seasonal adjustments, as Wisconsin’s economy is extremely reliant on seasonal conditions, which can significantly impact the labor market," said DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman. "Nevertheless, we are pleased to report that, despite a small increase over last month, Wisconsin’s unemployment picture is showing some signs of improvement over the past year," she said.
Wisconsin’s unadjusted March unemployment rate was estimated at 6.5 percent, the same rate that was estimated for February. Wisconsin’s March rate for 2002 was estimated at 6.7 percent. The nation’s unadjusted rate for March 2003 was estimated at 6.2 percent.
Although the number of people classified as employed rose for the state between February and March, from 2,882,276 to 2,883,499, there were enough additional residents classified as unemployed to keep the unemployment rate at 6.5 percent. Wisconsin’s February and March unemployment rates are traditionally the highest rates of the year, due to seasonal factors.
Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector continues to show no signs of recovery, dropping from 516,100 jobs in February to 514,900 jobs in March. One year ago, the state’s manufacturing job total was estimated at 531,900. Normally, jobs in the manufacturing sector begin to see some seasonal increases between February and March.
Overall, there was a slight increase in total nonfarm jobs for the state, moving from 2,732,100 in February 2003 to 2,741,800 in March 2003. In March of 2002, there were 2,735,900 nonfarm jobs in Wisconsin. The construction industry is off to a rather slow start in 2003, down an average of 4,700 jobs per month from the first three months of 2002. The accommodation and food service industry saw the largest industry increase over the month, climbing from 197,500 jobs in February to 200,900 jobs in March.
March employment and unemployment figures for individual counties should be available on April 23. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.
|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman