Wisconsin unemployment rises as public sector, leisure industry sheds jobs

The state unemployment rate rises from 5.4% to 5.7%
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 1:47 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s unemployment rate ticked up three-tenths of a point last month as all levels of government shed thousands of jobs in October, the latest Dept. of Workforce Development numbers show.

According to the agency, the unemployment rate for October stood at 5.7 percent, slightly higher than September and more than two full points higher than this time last year, when it sat at 3.5 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped one point to 6.9 percent, but remains higher than Wisconsin.

Statewide, nearly 15,000 non-farm jobs were shed between September and October, according to DWD’s labor force summery. With those losses, there were 200,000 fewer people employed last month compared to October 2019.

Approximately 12,000 of the month’s losses were from public sector jobs, as the federal government let go many of its census workers, UW System student workers and part-time instructors lost their jobs, and local governments made cuts to their public-school staff.

The decline in private sector jobs was led by the leisure and hospitality industry, which lost 7,000 total jobs. Gains in other sectors, however, reduced the private sector losses as a whole to 2,700 positions.

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