Wisconsin employment hits record high as federal and private investments increase - TAI News
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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced on March 7 that the state hit a record high level for employment in January 2024, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A total of 3,026,900 jobs were reported, an increase of 25,200 during the previous year. Of particular note, construction jobs hit a record high of 140,000 jobs, with 1,900 of those jobs added during the month of January.

“In the Year of the Worker, DWD remains committed to advancing innovative workforce programs and initiatives to continue this momentous success,” DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s overall unemployment rate is 3.2%, which is lower than the national rate of 3.7%. That statistic has significantly improved since April 2020, when state unemployment was at 14% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the unemployment rate was 4.7%.

According to data released by the White House, more than $4 billion in private investments has been announced in Wisconsin since Biden took office, largely in the clean power sector.

One project currently under construction is the Paris Solar-Battery Park, a project planned by the electric services company WEC Energy Group that received approval from regulators in 2022. When completed, the company said, the solar and battery project will have installed up to 750,000 solar panels on 1,500 acres. WEC Energy projects that the facility will be able to produce solar power for about 60,000 homes and store 110 megawatts of power in batteries to be used when the sun goes down.  

Additional investments have been made in Wisconsin under the infrastructure law that Biden signed in 2021. According to 2023 data from the Biden administration, $2.8 billion in federal funding has been announced so far for 182 projects.

One of the largest is the replacement of the I-39/90/94 bridges in Columbia County. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said that it anticipated the project would be completed in 2027.

“This federal investment to rebuild bridges in Columbia County will increase safety and strengthen our supply chain to move Wisconsin products to market and help support economic growth,” Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said in a statement in September 2022.

As part of the infrastructure law, the EPA also announced in February that an additional $120 million would be sent to Wisconsin to upgrade its water infrastructure. In total, the EPA said, $456 million has been invested in Wisconsin water infrastructure under Biden.

Along with Baldwin, Democrats in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation unanimously supported the infrastructure law. The state’s Republican contingent opposed the legislation.“This is just the first step in the Democrats’ plan to pass their $5 trillion-plus radical tax-and-spend agenda, and I simply couldn’t help facilitate it,” Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, said in a 2021 release after voting against the bill.

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