The unemployment rate in Wisconsin, which was previously held unchanged, fell five percentage points to 3.4%, according to revised figures from the state’s Human Resources Development Department.
DWD reported that the state’s unemployment rate fell to 3.2% in October, the lowest since March 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the country’s economy.
State and federal officials say the “misrepresentation” uncovered by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in Michigan affected unemployment data in several neighboring states, including Wisconsin. As a result, revised data released Thursday showed Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in September was lower than the 3.9% previously reported in preliminary data released last month.
Scott Hodeck, division chief for DWD’s Office of Economic Advisers, said the drop in unemployment over the past two months is the result of adjusted data and could not be attributed to any single economic event, including the end of the September 6 increase in federal unemployment benefits.
“What we saw nationwide and in the state data, we didn’t actually see a surge in employment growth associated with the end of extended unemployment benefits, neither in the September data nor in the October data,” Hodeck said.
Earlier this year, Republicans and some business owners targeted increased benefits to exacerbate labor shortages in the state, creating a disincentive for jobs, but DWD officials said Wisconsin employers are struggling to fill jobs due to labor shortages. caused by low fertility and high retirement rates. and low levels of net migration and immigration flows to the state.