WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/27/2009) - The Wisconsin job picture continues to stabilize, but the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) is saying the recession impact is far from over. The latest Wisconsin Job Watch from COWS shows a continued slowing in the rate of job loss in Wisconsin, according to July 2009 data. However, Wisconsin has 137,000 fewer jobs than when the so-called recession started in December of 2007. Even though the situation may be slowing down, the Wisconsin unemployment rate remains at highs not seen since the 1980s.
Wisconsinís unemployment rate now stands at 9 percent, double the rate of unemployment at the start of the recession in December 2007.
The state lost an average of 18,650 jobs per month in the six months leading up to April 2009. Things are either getting better, or at the least, not getting worse. From April to July, the total number of jobs has roughly held steady.
The rate of manufacturing job loss has slowed, 4,800 jobs were lost in the sector between June and July 2009. Wisconsinís manufacturing sector now has 66,100 fewer jobs than when the recession started, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all jobs lost in the current downturn.
After a spike in construction jobs between April and May 2009, the last two months have seen construction jobs fall again, with 2,500 jobs lost between May and July.
The current recession rivals the severe recession of the 1980s with respect to percent of jobs lost (almost 5 percent).
The Center on Wisconsin Strategy says though Wisconsinís unemployment rate is still well below 1980s levels, it has not necessarily reached its peak.
A monthly publication from COWS, Wisconsin Job Watch provides a snapshot of the effects of the recession on Wisconsin jobs. To read Wisconsin Job Watch, visit www.cows.org/pdf/ds-WIJobWatch-July09.pdf.
More information on the status of working people in Wisconsinwill be available from COWS on Labor Day. COWS' State of Working Wisconsin 2009 update will be released Labor Day.
The Center on Wisconsin Strategy is a policy center and field laboratory for high road economic development Ė a competitive market economy of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and capable democratic government.
Housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, COWS has been supporting progressive policy innovation since 1991.