Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.
Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.
I would like to contribute
If there’s one thing President Donald Trump loves to boast about, it’s jobs, jobs, jobs.
During an April 27, 2019 rally in Green Bay, Trump made sure his supporters in Wisconsin knew just how good the state unemployment rate has become.
"The unemployment rate for Wisconsin workers has reached historic lows," Trump told the crowd. "It’s never been this low before, ever, ever, ever."
As of March 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wisconsin had a 2.9 percent unemployment rate.
But, was there ever a time in history when it was even lower?
We decided to do some digging.
Historical data from the BLS shows Wisconsin has been on a downward spiral of unemployment since the height of the financial crisis in 2009.
Since then, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Wisconsin reached 9.3 percent with the lowest being where it stands now at 2.9 percent.
But, was there a time that it’s ever been below that figure?
BLS spokesman Gary Steinberg says it has been close, but the 2.9 percent is the lowest unemployment rate for Wisconsin on record.
"Unemployment rate data for Wisconsin are comparable back to 1976," Steinberg said. "The unemployment rate of 2.9 percent in both January and February 2019 are the lowest on record."
Nationally, Wisconsin’s 2.9 percent in March 2019 left it tied with Idaho and Virginia.
That means Wisconsin ranked eighth in the country.
North Dakota and Vermont tied at first with a 2.3 percent unemployment rate. Alaska, meanwhile, was at the bottom with an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent.
Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development reported the state added 11,400 total non-farm jobs and 19,300 private-sector jobs from February of 2018 to February of 2019.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin's labor force participation rate -- a measuring stick that looks at the other side of the equation -- was 67.5 percent in February. That was more than four points better than the national rate.
Trump said Wisconsin had the lowest unemployment rate ever at a recent rally in Green Bay.
The available data backs up his claim that Wisconsin hasn’t had a lower unemployment rate to its 2.9 percent.
We rate Trump’s claim True.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, March 2019
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Historical data
E-mail correspondence with Gary Steinberg, BLS spokesman, on April 31, 2019
State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, BLS Data: Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.9 Percent in February, February 2019
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.