Wisconsin Adds 4,100 Nonfarm Jobs in January, Statewide Unemployment Rate Falls to 2.9%

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development yesterday released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of January 2023, which showed Wisconsin added 4,100 nonfarm jobs over the month and 55,800 jobs over the year.

The data also showed that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to 2.9% for January, down 0.1 percentage point from the revised 3% in December 2022. The state’s labor force participation rate for January was 64.5%. Nationwide for the month of January, the unemployment rate was 3.4% with a labor force participation rate of 62.4%.

Additionally, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for December 2022 was adjusted lower – from the initially reported 3.2% to 3% – as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics completed its annual benchmarking to update the data underlying the unemployment rate model. Following the benchmarking process, the statewide unemployment rate just released for January 2023 was lower still, coming in 2.9%, 0.5 percentage points below the national rate for January of 3.4%. Following the benchmarking process, the statewide unemployment rate for February also will be released in March.

“Wisconsin’s historically low unemployment rate, combined with strong job growth across multiple sectors, continues to signal the vitality and resilience of our workforce and economy,” said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. “While these numbers are incredibly positive, they also call out the need for continued efforts to remove employment barriers and equip workers with in-demand skills. DWD and its partners are hard at work on these strategies, building and strengthening Wisconsin’s workforce for the 21st century and beyond.”