Wisconsin lost 8,800 non-farm jobs this August, according to preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released Friday.
But the month’s numbers may not be as bad as they seem. The figures are part of the Current Employment Statistics program, which samples a small number of employers monthly. As preliminary estimates for August, the numbers are subject to revision.
As a whole, the United States gained 156,000 jobs in August, less than the 170,000 to 180,000 jobs economists projected. A recent NPR article noted that August estimates are often low, but are later corrected at higher numbers.
“Seasonal adjustments for August are challenging because many hiring managers are on vacation and students leave summer jobs and head back to school,” it said.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) noted that comparing August 2016 to August 2017 numbers shows an overall increase of 20,100 private-sector jobs. DWD Secretary Ray Allen said in a statement that "Wisconsin is a top 10 state to do business, and we expect our state will continue to grow and attract new businesses well into the future."
But compared to other states, Wisconsin's job gains are relatively unimpressive. Another recent BLS report found that from March 2016 to March 2017, Wisconsin added just under 27,600 private-sector jobs. That’s a growth rate of 1.2 percent, which ranks Wisconsin 30th in the nation for private sector job growth.
Things could always turn around: a hiring forecast released last week found 26 percent of Wisconsin employers expect to add employees in the next few months, and just 4 percent are planning layoffs.
Plus, Republican politicians point to the potential of 13,000 jobs at the planned Foxconn plant in southeastern Wisconsin. Gov. Walker signed the legislation that gives the company a $3 billion incentive package on Monday.
Here's the Cap Times job database update: