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Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Nov. 18, 2021
CONTACT: DWD Communications

BLS Data: Wisconsin's Total Employment Grows by 3,200, Total Unemployment Decreases by 4,700 in October

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of October 2021. The data shows that Wisconsin's total non-farm jobs decreased by 1,000 in October 2021 when compared to September 2021 while Wisconsin's private-sector jobs increased by 2,000 in the month of October. Wisconsin's unemployment rate in October was 3.2 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from September's revised rate of 3.4 percent.

September's unemployment rate was revised downward significantly – this was due to a data distortion that was discovered by the BLS retrospectively in a neighboring state's data. The distortion affected data from all states in our region, including Wisconsin's. It is important to note that the drop in the unemployment rate was not due to any economic event; it was a series adjustment. Data from September 2021 through December 2021 should not be compared to data from January 2021 through August 2021.

Data from January through August will be revised during the benchmarking process that occurs in January and February each year. The BLS website has additional information on the event.

"We've been working hard over the last 18 months to put our state and economy in the best position to rebound from this pandemic," Gov. Evers said. "This is great news for our state and our economic recovery, and I'm proud of our efforts to make sure we bounce back even better than we were before the pandemic hit."

"Wisconsin's total employment continues to increase while total unemployment decreases, which is a great sign of continued growth for the Wisconsin economy," DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek said. "To top if off, Wisconsin's unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points in October, signaling increased worker confidence in rejoining the workforce and increased hiring by many sectors including construction, manufacturing, and transportation, warehousing and utilities."

View Wisconsin Labor Force Summary

Today's full report can be viewed on DWD's premier source for labor market information, WisConomy.com.


Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases here and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.