Wisconsin unemployment rate increases in July

Jobs numbers are subject to revision
Wisconsin unemployment rate increases in July

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate increased in July and the state lost jobs based on a new monthly report.

The numbers reported Thursday by the state Department of Workforce Development are based on a survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin businesses and subject to significant revisions.

The numbers were reported the day after Gov. Scott Walker’s administration released quarterly data showing jobs grew 1.1 percent between March of last year and this year.

The new quarterly numbers from Walker’s administration show the state added 37,464 private sector jobs between March 2011 and March 2012.

As was done in May, Walker’s Department of Workforce Development released the numbers before they have been vetted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest numbers released Thursday cover the first three months of 2012. The BLS is scheduled to publish them on Sept. 27.

The monthly report for July shows that the unemployment rate grew from 7 percent in June to 7.3 percent in July. That is still below the national rate of 8.3 percent.

The monthly report shows the state lost 6,000 private sector jobs in June. Since Walker took office the state has lost 12,900 private sector jobs.

Walker said he would like to see stronger growth and that the constant political cycle is playing a role.

“As many of you have reported even a week or two ago with manufacturing numbers, I saw a number of publications pointed out there’s a lot of uncertainty related to manufacturing,” Walker said. “I think it’s true in other parts of the economy. Until the election’s over, until there’s some certainty, we’ll see in Wisconsin what we’re seeing nationally, and that’s a pretty sluggish recovery.”

The state Department of Workforce Development reported in the quarterly numbers that manufacturing jobs were up by more than 12,000.

Walker said he prefers the quarterly jobs data because it’s a survey of 95 percent of state employers.

The quarterly census also showed that wages rose more than 7 percent and the government workforce shrunk by more than 9,300 jobs year-to-year.