March 22. 2012 12:00PM - Last modified: March 22. 2012 12:32PM

State's unemployment rate holds steady at 6.9%

By Steve Jagler


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Wisconsin held steady at 6.9 percent in February, according to the latest calculations by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released today by the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Wisconsin also added an estimated 8,300 total jobs over the month, according to the report.

"Wisconsin's preliminary February unemployment rate remains below 7 percent, the lowest it's been since December of 2008, and well below the national rate (8.3 percent)," said DWD Secretary Reggie Newson. "In addition, the preliminary monthly estimates indicate continued job growth overall."

The BLS rates encompass Wisconsinites who are available for work and actively seeking jobs and are generated by BLS from Wisconsin household surveys and other input.

Wisconsin's unemployment rate remains below the rates of other major manufacturing Midwest states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, Newson said.

Sectors with job growth and their one-month gains were: education and health services, 2,500; construction, 2,100, and professional and business services, 1,400.

Seasonally adjusted data also show that, compared to January, total nonfarm employment increased 8,300, including the private sector and a 4,300 increase in government jobs.