According to a monthly report by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, also known as MMCA, more than 2/3 of the metro area business activity indicators revealed that the Milwaukee economy is improving as of March 2022. The total in March is the 12th month in which more than one-half of the indicators were positive.
Bret Mayborne, MMAC’s economic research director, stated that 15 of the 22 indicators had improved from one year ago. This is down slightly from the 16 indicators that registered positive in February. That being said, job growth in the area improved, unemployment fell, and manufacturing employment is trending upward.
Highlights of Milwaukee Economy Growth
- Non-farm employment grew at it’s fastest rate in 7 months. The 2.1% increase in March 2022 over the March 2021 levels is higher than the 1.8% gain shown in February and is the strongest year-over-year increase since August 2021.
- In regard to the major industry sectors 6 of the 10 showed year-over-year employment gains. A 16.8% increase in the hospitality sector was the strongest gain. The largest year-over-year decline was in the financial activities sector, down 3.8%. Information sector jobs showed no change at all.
- The number of unemployed persons in the area decreased by 13,100 over the previous 12 months- which is a 1.6% decrease. The 3.6% seasonally unadjusted rate for Milwaukee is lower than the 3.8% national rate, but higher than Wisconsin’s 3.3% rate.
- The indicators in the manufacturing sector were positive. Employment increased 3% over levels from one year ago, which built on the 2.7% gain from February 2022.
- Indicators related to production workers in the manufacturing sector were mixed. The average workweek fell for the 7th month in a row- down 11.7%. However, average hourly earnings increased 17.5% and the average weekly earnings increased 3.8% from what it was one year ago.
- For two of the local indicators, there were persistent declines. Mortgages in Milwaukee county decreased 31.1%, and March 2022 is the 6th month that this indicator has been in decline and new car registrations fell 14.5%, and this is the 9th month that this has declined.
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The Milwaukee economy has seen growth over the last year, but has your business?
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