The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recently released new data showing the state unemployment rate in September fell to 7.3 percent.
The number is lower than the national unemployment figure, 7.8 percent, and is also down from the state’s September 2011 numbers, where the state unemployment rate was at 7.4 percent, according to the DWD.
According to the DWD, 3,100 private sector jobs were added to the economy since August. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue also reported revenue collections were up by 4.4 percent and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reported new business formation was up by 8.8 percent.
John Dipko, DWD spokesperson, said this new data is significant.
“Wisconsin has outperformed many states in several economic indicators, such as an unemployment rate that at 7.3 percent in September is below the national average and that of most other major manufacturing Midwest states,” Dipko said.
These numbers might ease fears many people had about job insecurity in the struggling state and national economies of the last several years, Dipko said.
However, these numbers are not yet ideal for the state, Dipko added.
“Even as these indicators point to economic growth in Wisconsin, there is more work to be done to support growth in our state, particularly in light of uncertainty over the direction of the national and global economy,” Dipko said.
Jay Heck, director of Common Cause Wisconsin, agreed more needs to be done in terms of job creation in Wisconsin.
“It is still somewhat alarming it has not fallen nearly as much as Gov. Scott Walker promised,” Heck said. “He had promised to add 50,000 jobs to the economy and we’re well off that pace. But whenever the unemployment rate drops, that’s always a good thing.”
There is some debate over the effectiveness of this number in regards to what sectors job creation is created in, Heck said.
He also noted more jobs needed to be added in the public sector as well as the private sector.
“Most of these new jobs were in the finance, business and technology sectors of the economy, but many public employees lost their jobs initially,” Heck said. “If many of the jobs were added back, the unemployment rate would drop even lower.”
In the uncertain economy of the last few years, the job outlook specifically for young college graduates has been grim. It remains to be seen whether these numbers will effect the job market for this demographic, according to Heck.
“It is still a tough job market for students, but this should mean an improvement for college students and [the job market] looks much more optimistic than it did a few years ago,” Heck said.
According to Dipko, the Walker administration will most likely continue to try, and continue the trend by creating more jobs.
“To this end, it has been made clear job creation and developing the state’s workforce are among the governor’s top budget priorities for 2013-15,” Dipko said.
Dipko also encouraged students to visit the Job Center of Wisconsin website (https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com) where there are 44,000 jobs open to students seeking work.