Milwaukee job growth continues

The Greater Milwaukee area added 1,100 new jobs in August, according to a Sept. 21 report released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The report also stated the August unemployment rate for Wisconsin decreased from 8.0 percent in 2010 to 7.9.

Dennis A. Spurlin, communication specialist for the Department of Workforce Development, said that jobs increased and decreased in key places.

“Jobs increased in the private sector, but government jobs decreased,” Spurlin said in an email.

He also said the numbers came from statistical estimates based on sampling and should not to be viewed as representative of a consensus of jobs, meaning that 1,100 jobs may not actually exist. Rather, the statistics for the region suggest that this many jobs might have been added.

Unemployment numbers remain even, though.

Dave Celata, intergovernmental affairs and research manager for the Social Development Commission, says that though the number of jobs are increasing, not everyone is reaping the benefits.

He said recent college graduates in fields such as nursing and engineering do relatively well, but workers whose skills are not in as high of a demand suffer. He also said workers who have been unemployed for numerous years or are highly under-skilled will not see the same increase in job opportunity.

“While you have new jobs being added, the amount of people seeking jobs isn’t enough to meet the demand,” Celata said.

The fact that many of SDC’s services are still in demand — including emergency and W-2 forms — is evidence of this.

Abdur Chowdhury, chair of the Department of Economics at Marquette, said this can be explained because most of the jobs being created are going to the suburbs of Greater Milwaukee — Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties — not to the city of Milwaukee itself.

Milwaukee is not the only place struggling with unemployment, though.

Chowdhury said cities such as Madison and Green Bay have also been affected.

“We’ve seen the job losses in a number of cities around the state, not just in Milwaukee,” he said.