The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reports that the state's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.6 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from February's 5.8 percent and equal to the rate one year ago. That compares to a national rate for March of 5.2 percent, same as the February rate, but seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than the March 2007 rate of 4.5 percent.
According to the Department, total Wisconsin nonfarm jobs increased by 12,900 to 2,825,100 from February to March. Private-sector jobs grew by 10,000, led by the leisure and hospitality sector with an increase of 2,900, and educational and health services with 1,600 added jobs. Goods producers added 2,600 jobs with 2,300 in construction and the remaining 300 in manufacturing. Government jobs were up 2,900, led by local government, which added 2,500.
"Wisconsin's labor market showed improvement from February with a drop of two-tenths of a percentage point in unemployment rate and an increase of nearly 13,000 in jobs over the month," DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman said in a press release.