The latest job numbers are out from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. From October to November, Wisconsin non-farm jobs decreased by an estimated 7600 hundred, for a total loss this year of more than 32,000 thousand jobs. "There's almost no way that the Wisconsin numbers couldn't follow, given what we know about the state economy and the general national picture," said Laura Dresser, Associate Director at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy.
Wisconsin's unemployment rate for November was 5.3 percent, up nine tenths of a percent from October, and up a full percentage point from November of last year. That's still better than the national unemployment rate of 6.5 percent.
"Almost half of the jobs we've lost over the past year have been in the manufacturing sector," noted James Buchen, Vice President of Government Relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. "Even though, as a proportion of the workforce, they normally represent about one in five jobs. Its' definitely tilted toward manufacturing job loss." Buchen says that's particularly unfortunate, as manufacturing wages in Wisconsin are above the national average. He hopes the next session of the legislature will be receptive to the kinds of policies that will get Wisconsin's economy back on track: "we're losing good jobs in this recession."
Dresser expects job losses to continue, at least in the short term; "we probably can anticipate more bad news, at least for awhile."