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Gov. Scott Walker has touted the 'Wisconsin comeback' (copy)

Gov. Scott Walker, appearing before members of the Portage Area Chamber Commerce in 2016. Walker touted the state's low unemployment rate this week, which is at a low of 3.1 percent. May's jobs estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a loss of non-farm jobs. 

JOHN HART -- State Journal

Although May wasn’t a good month for jobs in Wisconsin, the state is still experiencing its lowest unemployment rate since 1999, according to preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state saw a decrease in 4,800 non-farm jobs, statistics released Friday show. Wisconsin parallels the national economy, which saw slower job growth in May yet a simultaneous decrease in unemployment.

Wisconsin added 14,800 non-farm jobs in April, but took a downswing in May, losing 3,200 private and 1,600 government jobs. That makes May the worst month in 2017 for jobs in Wisconsin.

When Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011, he promised to create 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term. To date, Wisconsin has seen an increase in 216,300 jobs.

Even so, unemployment is at a low rate of 3.1 percent. Walker tweeted the number, and noted that there are 99,356 job openings on the state's job website. When Walker took office, unemployment was just over 8 percent.

The national unemployment rate for May is also at an impressive low. It's at 4.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2001. 

Nationally, economists predicted that May would see about 185,000 new jobs, but that only materialized into 138,000 jobs, the BLS reported earlier this month.

Surrounding states varied in job growth. Illinois and Iowa gained non-farm jobs, with 2,300 and 3,400 new jobs, respectively. Michigan and Minnesota saw losses of 6,800 and 5,900 non-farm jobs. 

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Still, May marks the 80th straight month of national job growth. When the Federal Reserve chose to raise interest rates on Wednesday, they cited this growth in a statement.

"Job gains have moderated but have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined," it said.

The figures were released Friday, and are part of the Current Employment Statistics program, which samples a small number of employers monthly. As preliminary estimates for May, the numbers are subject to revision.

Here's the Cap Times job database update:

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