Monthly job figures from the state Department of Workforce Development show Wisconsin added about 8,400 private sector jobs last month. When added to previous reports, the preliminary numbers put the total number of jobs added in the state this year at just under 18,000.
DWD also reported Thursday that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in September, down from 5.7 percent in August. The seasonally adjusted rate is the lowest for the state since October of 2008 and is well below the national rate of 5.9 percent.
Overall, Wisconsin has added about 111,000 jobs since Governor Scott Walker took office in 2011, well off-pace to achieve a campaign promise of 250,000 jobs during his first term in office. That goal has been a frequent target of criticism for the governor as he seeks reelection, with Walker arguing that he believes voters will not penalize him for “aiming high.”
Walker’s campaign responded to the latest number, which a spokesperson called “more great news for working families and it’s more proof that Wisconsin is heading in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Mary Burke’s communications director, Joe Zepecki, said in a statement that “Wisconsin’s job growth this year is on pace to be the worst yet under Governor Walker. In fact, this is on track to be the worst year for job growth since the Great Recession.”