11.20.2009

Is the state's unemployment rate really that good?

The state Department of Workforce Development is touting that the Wisconsin unemployment rate has dropped again for the month of October - down to 7.6%

Not bad, especially since the national rate is 10.2%, but the rate reported by the DWD is not seasonally adjusted. The seasonally adjusted rate for Wisconsin is 8.4% and unchanged since September which is important to note because the national unemployment rate is also seasonally adjusted. Still better than the national rate, but let's not sugarcoat it. If we're going to compare rates, we should probably compare apples to apples.

Also, the reason our unemployment rate is dropping is not because we are adding jobs or people are finding work. Our unemployment rate is dropping because more the total workforce is shrinking faster than we can shed jobs.