Students should find it easy to get a job this summer, new unemployment figures show.
The Department of Workforce Development released unemployment figures for the month of June citing the state of Wisconsin at 4.3 percent and Madison at 1.9 percent.
These figures rank Wisconsin 25th among other states in the nation, and Madison fourth compared to other metropolitan areas.
Terry Ludeman, chief of local workforce planning in the Department of Workforce Development, said one must be careful to distinguish the reasons people are out of work.
“There were 139,469 people out of work at any given time in June, but layoffs and company downsizing are a small part of this,” he said. “Most of the people looking for jobs are people who are just moving into the market.”
The unemployment rate is comprised of people who are looking for work for a number of reasons. Other outside factors contribute to the level of unemployment at a given time.
UW-Madison plays a role in the level of unemployment of Dane County and Madison.
“The university affects the unemployment rate in two ways,” Ludeman said. “First, a lot of jobs connected to the university are lost when they shutdown for the summer. Second, there are a sizeable number of people who leave during the summer and work somewhere else.”
These factors contribute to a 1.9 percent unemployment rate in Dane County.
Ludeman said this low unemployment is not uncommon in Dane County.
“It’s always the lowest of any county in the state,” he said.
This low of an unemployment rate means that residents of Dane county, including students, are finding the jobs they need.
“A lower unemployment rate means it is easier to find a job,” said Larry Samuelson, UW economics professor. “There are fewer people who would like jobs and don’t have one.”
Unemployment is linked to the economy, but Ludeman said the unemployment rate has little effect on economic matters.
“[Unemployment] doesn’t mean too much for the economy,” he said. “It only means that there are number of jobs available, and that people are finding the jobs they need.”
Although there are few direct implications on the economy, a low unemployment rate does show that Wisconsin is prospering.
“The unemployment rate is an index of the health of the economy and the state,” Samuelson said. “The lower the rate the healthier the economy.”