Despite adding 12,400 private sector jobs in January, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate climbed from 6.7 to seven percent. That’s according to seasonally adjusted figures released this week by the state Department of Workforce Development. The report said government jobs fell by about 10,600, although officials say it was likely due to the timing of paychecks by the UW System.
Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson has challenged the accuracy of the monthly job reports for more than a year. He says they are only based on surveys from 3.5 percent of the state’s employers and are subject to major revisions later on. Newson said last year’s monthly reports undercounted the numbers of Wisconsin jobs by a total of 67,000 throughout the year.
The Walker administration has emphasized another federal report in which 96 percent of employers provide job data. However, those numbers are up to seven months old when they’re released.