State’s job growth considered stagnateDespite some job losses in November, Wisconsin has gained jobs over the course of the year. But the rate of recovery is slow and as one economic policy group says even "stagnate."
By: Kristen Durst, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Despite some job losses in November, Wisconsin has gained jobs over the course of the year. But the rate of recovery is slow and as one economic policy group says even "stagnate."
Wisconsin's unemployment rate has dipped slightly in recent months, dropping to a two-year low of 7.6 percent in November. Dennis Winters of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) says that's a good sign, and they’re starting to see reemployment going on.
“We're up 35,000 jobs since December of last year and year over year we're looking at gains in the 20,000 level,” says Winters. “Most of those are in the private sector, and even in manufacturing so we're seeing a turn in the economy, it is coming back, so we're looking for that to continue."
But Wisconsin actually lost jobs last month. Seasonally-adjusted, around 5,200 hundred jobs from October to November.
Joel Rogers, director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), says that despite the gains made mostly earlier this year, the cumulative job loss since the recession began is considerable.
“Upwards of 150,000 jobs. We lost jobs last month so if we continue at that rate we'll never get it back. Even if you assume a rate of job growth that is like previous recessions, the (1990) recession we were adding jobs then roughly 5,300 jobs a month. If we got back to that level which we're not at now we're not going to be back to a prerecession level of employment for another couple of years."
Rogers also says that if you account for a growing workforce, that it could potentially be close to five years before the state gets back to prerecession employment levels. The hardest hit industries in Wisconsin remain construction and manufacturing.