After a brief lull, the state’s economy is showing signs of returning to the pre-recession growth it experienced during the Great Recession.
The state’s unemployment rate is at 6.5 percent, well below its peak of nearly 10 percent in 2010.
And while the state has seen some of the biggest growth in the country during the downturn, its jobless rate remains well below the national average of 12.1 percent.
But unemployment remains a serious issue, and Wisconsin is not immune to the pressures of the Great Depression.
Since the Great Storm of 1929, Wisconsin has lost more than 50,000 jobs.
“We have a jobless problem, but we have also had a recession problem,” said Chris Gresham, the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Council of Economic Advisers, a nonpartisan economic research group.
“We’re really struggling to get out of this.”
Despite the unemployment rate, the number of jobs in the state is still up slightly.
The Wisconsin Labor Department says Wisconsin’s unemployment has risen by 3,700 jobs over the past month.
But that trend is slowing as the state struggles with a shortage of workers.
The average hourly wage in the Milwaukee area rose to $20.65 in January from $21.80 in January 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Employment Security.
That’s the first increase since the state experienced a 4.9 percent drop in average hourly wages in the summer of 2018.
In 2016, the average hourly pay for a skilled worker in the United States was $27.72.
That is up to $30.20 in Wisconsin, up from $25.90 in the year before.
That wage increase is the result of a new minimum wage that went into effect in January 2018.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
In January, the U.S. Department of Labor raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, up to a $15.10 federal minimum.
The increase is scheduled to be phased in gradually over the next four years.