April 19. 2012 12:00PM - Last modified: April 19. 2012 12:32PM

Wisconsin jobs data mixed for March

Wisconsin lost 4,300 private sector jobs in March, even though the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent in February, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released today by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

"Wisconsin's March preliminary unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent, after holding at 6.9 percent for two months," DWD Secretary Reggie Newson said. "A year ago, the rate was 7.6 percent. With unemployment rates not this low since 2008, Wisconsin's economic picture continues to improve."
Economists say a state's unemployment rate can drop even though it is losing jobs because more people fall off the unemployment benefit rolls and give up trying.
First-time unemployment claims in Wisconsin rose to 13,023 last week from 12,089 in the previous week.
The national unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February.
"Wisconsin had 83,000 entrants to its labor force in March, including 63,300 re-entrants, signaling greater optimism by job seekers," Newson said. "We encourage individuals to take advantage of the opportunities available on https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com, our online employment site, as the hiring season begins in earnest."