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Local jobs numbers still among the state’s best
February 2024 unemployment rate jumps from January, still lower than 12 months ago
Trend line going up

MONROE — The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recently released the state’s job numbers for the month of February.

Overall, the statewide unemployment rate dipped to 3%. The data showed year over year gains in the labor force, employment, and jobs. The data also showed that the unemployment rate, at 3.0% in February, ticked down 0.2 percentage points over the month.

Nationwide for the month of February, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9%, 0.9 percentage points higher than Wisconsin’s rate. The national labor force participation rate of 62.5% was 3.2 percentage points below the state rate of 65.7%.

Dane County led the state with the lowest unemployment rate for the second straight month at 2.2%, which is up from 1.9% from January and up by 1/10th of a percent from Feb. 2023. Calumet (2.4%), Ozaukee (2.5%) and Sheboygan (2.5%) round out the top four listed counties with the lowest unemployment rates. Green, La Crosse and Waukesha counties all have unemployment rates of 2.7%.

Green’s rate is .5% higher than January, but down .2% from February 2023. Lafayette County, which had led the state in lowest unemployment for much of the past two years, had a rate of 2.9% for February 2024, up .7% from January, but still down .2% from a year ago.

Adams County had the worst rate in the state at 6.8%. 

●  Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s unemployment was 3.0% in February. The number of unemployed people decreased 4,800 over the month to 95,600. The labor force decreased 4,900 over the month and increased 35,500 over the year to 3,143,300. The number of people employed decreased 100 over the month and increased 21,000 over the year.

●  Place of Work Data: Total nonfarm jobs increased 3,200 over the month and 22,400 over the year to a record high 3,030,900 jobs in February. Private sector jobs increased 15,700 over the year and held steady over the month at 2,621,500.

●  Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary February 2024 unemployment rates increased in all 12 Wisconsin metro areas over the month; the rates decreased or stayed the same in eight areas compared to one year ago.

●  Municipalities: Preliminary February 2024 unemployment rates increased in Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities over the month. Over the year, rates decreased or stayed the same in 11 of the 35 state’s largest cities.

●  Counties: Preliminary February 2024 unemployment rates increased in all 72 counties over the month and decreased or stayed the same in 48 counties over the year.