The Center Square) – Wisconsin has had the fourth biggest decrease in unemployment compared with the rest of the country, WalletHub reported.
In its latest “Changes in Unemployment Rate by State” report, WalletHub compared states’ unemployment rate statistics from April 2023 and other dates.
Iowa was the Great Lake state with the next-best unemployment change. Its April 2023 unemployment rate was 2.7%. Its unemployment rate decreased 3.2% from March to April this year. Unemployment increased 16.7% from April 2022 to April 2023, dropped 74.6% from April 2020 to April 2023 and rose 4.4% from April 2019 to April 2023. Without seasonal adjustment, continued claims decreased 59% from March to April 2023.
Minnesota ranked 24th. The unemployment rate was 2.8% in April 2023, up 0.1% from March 2023 and 21.6% since April 2022. Unemployment decreased 67.3% from April 2020 to April 2023 and 11.4% from April 2019 to April 2023. Continued claims decreased 16.7% from March to April this year.
Michigan, which had an unemployment rate of 3.8% in April 2023, ranked 27th. From March to April, its unemployment rate dropped 6.7%. Continued claims decreased 23.8%. Unemployment decreased 3.3% from April 2022 to April 2023, 81.9% from April 2020 to April 2023 and 9% from April 2019 to April 2023.
New Hampshire had the biggest decrease in unemployment, 13.6%, from March 2023 to April 2023, according to the report. The number of unemployed persons in the District of Columbia increased 3% from March 2023 to April 2023, creating an overall unemployment rate of 5%. District of Columbia and nine states had unemployment rates of at least 4% in April 2023.
The country gained 253,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April, according to the report. Many of those were in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and social assistance sectors.
In April, Wisconsin had a 2.4% unemployment rate, which was 1 percentage point less than the national average and 4.8% less than Wisconsin’s March 2023 figure. From April 2022 to April 2023, unemployment decreased 15.4%. It dropped 83.2% from April 2020 to April 2023 and 25.1% from April 2019 to April 2023. Without seasonally adjusting, continued claims dropped 26% from March to April 2023.
University of St. Thomas Department of Economics Associate Professor Tyler Schipper said in the report that Americans have returned to some of their pre-pandemic habits, like travel and dining. Tech companies are shedding jobs, while professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality each have vacancy rates above 8%.
He said states with surpluses should fund measures to reduce worker shortages in child care and elder care and increase affordable housing to help offset longer-term declines in labor force participation. He anticipates the job market will continue to slow this year, as the Federal Reserve wants to guide inflation back to 2% without causing a recession. The Fed could tighten credit markets too much, however. Raising the debt ceiling, having government shutdowns or radically cutting spending could be enough to precipitate a recession.
University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Associate Professor Alan Benson said state and local governments can prepare their workforce for the future through investing in education and encouraging labor market competition. For decades, technological change largely squeezed middle-class jobs and raised demand for the most highly educated workers, but it now appears that technological advancements are displacing some of the most highly skilled workers and have limited impact on demand for jobs in the bottom half of the income distribution.