Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has gradually increased to 3.2% in December 2022 — the latest data figure — from a historic low of 2.8% in March and April of that year. The only other years since 1976 when the unemployment rate approximated 2.8% were January-March 2018 and March 2020, when it sank to 2.9%.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was lower than the national unemployment rate throughout 2022. Wisconsin also saw a historic high for the number of people employed at 3,059,272 in May 2022.
While low unemployment rates were a measure of the state’s economic strength, they also may have indicated the struggle of employers in Wisconsin to hire employees.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics sets the unemployment rate by extensive, regular surveys, calculating the number of unemployed people — people who are actively searching for work, excluding those who are inactive, such as retirees or stay-at-home parents— as a percentage of the labor force.
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US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Wisconsin unemployment rate through December 2022
State of Wisconsin: BLS Data: Wisconsin sets record for total number of people employed
US Bureau of Labor Statistics: The employment situation — January 2023
State of Wisconsin: BLS Data: Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in April ties record low 2.8%
PBS Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s record low unemployment
The Badger Herald: Recent reports indicate economic strength in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Public Radio: Unemployment in Wisconsin is at a historic low, labor force is growing
US Bureau of Labor Statistics: How the government measures unemployment