Boots & Sabers

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2046, 11 Mar 21

Wisconsin Unemployment Rate is 3.8%

There are still 28,500 fewer people in the labor force than a year ago, but at 3.8% unemployment, the state is at full employment. Why do we need a massive stimulus again?

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of January 2021. The data shows that Wisconsin added 11,100 total non-farm and 7,000 private-sector jobs in the month of January. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in January was 3.8 percent, down from 4.0 percent in December 2020.


• Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in January was 65.5, 4.1 percent higher than the national rate of 61.4 percent. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in January was 3.8 percent, while the national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in the same month.


• Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 7,000 private-sector and 11,100 total non-farm jobs from December 2020 to January 2021. Both non-farm and private sector jobs were lower in January 2021 than they were in January 2020.


2046, 11 March 2021


  1. Mar

    Ok, I know I will be ripped on this but….
    Governor Evers needs some credit. Yeah, he’s done some stupid things, like the mask mandate but he did not shut down the entire state like other radical leftist governors.
    And the Wisconsin GOP has done nothing.
    Evers could have really killed the economy, like Fat Ass in Illinois and the governors in Michigan, New York and California.
    Maybe it was an accident that he didn’t destroy the economy, but in reality, Evers could have done worse.

  2. Merlin

    I just can’t choke out praise for a guy who barely clears a bar set so incredibly low. Being marginally better than the worst of the worst is, well, not very heartening. Maybe I need to find some of Mar’s optimism.

  3. steveegg

    Why? So that fewer people feel the need to work and WEAC’s political arm can reload the campaign cash.

  4. MjM

    Neat trick hiding behind “non-farm”.

    37% of jobs added in one month being g’vment jobs – 3,400 of the 4100 by Phony nEvers – is not what I would call a rosy ratio.

  5. dad29

    Public Screwel employees going back to work after WEAC-driven layoffs.

    3400 lunch ladies, school bus drivers, janitors…….

  6. Jason

    >Public Screwel employees going back to work after WEAC-driven layoffs.

    Overall, there are very few districts that did not reopen for the 20-21 school year. If that accounts for 3400 fewer claims, dayum! Government schools, INDEED.

  7. dad29

    We exaggerate slightly.

  8. MjM

    Daddio sez: “3400 lunch ladies, school bus drivers, janitors…….“

    Correction: Those would be of the 700 local g’vment jobs added, which, when you think of the number of state-wide localities, is not all that many (6.3% of total jobs added).

    I wanna know what those new 3400 state employees are doing.

  9. steveegg

    I wanna know what those new 3400 state employees are doing.

    Mostly not quitting or getting canned at the end of the year, along with still-screwy seasonal adjustments (which were reset for January as is customary). On a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, between 2011 and 2020, there has been an average of 10,880 fewer state workers in January compared to December, with a minimum drop of 6,400 in January 2014 and 6,800 in January 2011. That 1-month drop was only 5,900 this time around.

    As for the WEAC portion of the shutdown, it’s the large districts that remain(ed) locked out, and given the bloated size of Milwaukee, Madison and Racine Unified (just to name three), that’s a sizable portion of those in the state who work for public schools. The very-limited re-openings over the last few weeks won’t be reflected until the March jobs report due out next month (or later for Milwaukee and much of Madison).

  10. Mar

    I’m not sure about Wisconsin, but here in Arizona, very few school employees were laid off. The lunch ladies still made meals and the bus drivers drove the meals to the kids homes. The classroom aides were not laid off and they hired more custodians.
    But this didn’t last for a long time. I believe the kids were back in class around September (the district starts school in late July)

  11. MjM

    Eggman sez: “Mostly not quitting or getting canned at the end of the year”

    Not sure what you are trying to say, Steve. End of last year or this year? Is Phony nEvers “adding” jobs by not firing 3400 state workers? Or have those usual 10.8k+/- employees skedaddled and the new hires just offset the goners?

    If the latter, then I would ask: are these new hires replacements for the goners, and if so how does that rise to “added” jobs?

    [And b/c your stats create even further questions…]

    If the former I would ask: why is Phony breaking historical precedence?

    In any event, I am still left wondering what those “added” to the state payroll are doing.

  12. dad29

    In any event, I am still left wondering what those “added” to the state payroll are doing.

    Don’t ask Walker/Kleefisch, Thompson, or Doyle. They ALL added FTE employees to their Madison swamp while in power.

    So who CARES what they do or don’t do? EMPIRE!!

  13. Mar

    Well, I would bet many are in the medical and prison field. The State operates 3 centers for the disabled, 2 mental institutions.and 2 nursing homes for veterans. Then they operate numerous prisons. I’m not sure if UW hospital employees are state employees, but I’m sure that is also a big chunk.
    Just a guess though.
    With the virus, I’m sure they have had a big turnover. Plus, they probably hired people to vaccinate people.

  14. Tuerqas

    “Being marginally better than the worst of the worst is, well, not very heartening. ”

    Why not, it has largely been that difference the Dem and Rep candidates for a few decades now. It seems like the standard that is used for all aspects of Government today. Evers sucks, but the Rep legislature was non-existent so he sucked less than the Reps. If you are willing to vote based on those margins, why not praise to that standard as well?

  15. Merlin


    I have never strived to be next-to-worst at anything. I didn’t grow up that way and didn’t raise my family that way. I have never run my businesses that way. Never competed athletically that way. Don’t surround myself with people who live/operate that way.

    I fully realize that folks do have the right to live/operate that way, but it’s just not my way. There’s absolutely nothing new to the notion that if you demonstrate a willingness to accept less that you will be offered less and receive less. It isn’t just government. It’s becoming a cultural norm and as a nation we’re not the better for it. I might have to tolerate it (somewhat), but I don’t have to agree with it, and I sure as hell don’t have to praise it.

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