Wisconsin adds more jobs, unemployment remains low

State reaches all-time high in total non-farm jobs

Workers on a factory floor
Employees work in the battery assembly hall at the BMW Spartanburg plant in Greer, S.C., Wednesday, October 19, 2022. BMW announced $1.7 in new spending in and near the plant, with large resources going to conversion to electric vehicle manufacturing. Sean Rayford/AP Photo

Wisconsin’s labor force continues to grow, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The total number of non-farm related jobs across Wisconsin hit a record high of more than 3 million during the month of November.

That’s more than 32,000 additional jobs compared to the same time last year, and an increase of 1,700 compared to October, according to an analysis of the preliminary data from the state’s Department of Workforce Development.

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“If you’re a job seeker, this is a fantastic time. If you’re trying to hire, it’s a little tougher,” DWD economist Scott Hodek said Thursday. “That’s why DWD and the state are doing so many things to try and get everybody into the labor force and skilled-up as much as possible.”

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent last month, up a tenth of a percent from October.

That’s lower than the national average of 3.7 percent. And it remains far below the average of the last three decades.

“In some sense we’re seeing a continuation of this tendency that we see at the national level, that whatever slow down there is coming, it keeps on getting pushed further and further into the future,” University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor Menzie Chinn said.

The state’s labor force participation increased to nearly 66 percent in November, higher than the national average of 62.8 percent.

The Wisconsin unemployment rate is expected to rise to a peak of 4.1 percent by mid-2025, according to an economic forecast from the state’s Department of Revenue.