MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new Wisconsin jobs report shows the state is about where it was before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but the recovery has been uneven.

Total employment is down about 2.4%, or about 69,500 jobs, from December 2019, according to analysis by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Clothing store employment is down 20% statewide; gaming and leisure are down 15%; the restaurant industry fell 9%.

The report shows a booming sector: transportation and warehousing, which grew by 6.3% over the past two years.


“Since June 2015, over 16,000 (warehouse jobs) have been added,” according to the report. “Of those, nearly 10,000 are in Kenosha and Milwaukee counties alone, and large increases in each of those counties have occurred in the first few months after fulfillment centers opened (Amazon). “

The unemployment rate has hovered around 3% in recent months and businesses are still struggling to find workers for their vacancies.

“Wisconsin’s aging population, low birth rate, and low net migration numbers have resulted in a shrinking working-age population,” according to the report. “The Wisconsin Department of Administration projects that the state’s working-age population will remain about the same, or even decline slightly, through at least 2040.”