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State’s unemployment drops to 3.1 percent in May

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level since October 1999.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday that unemployment in May was 3.1 percent, down a tenth of a percent from April.

Gov. Scott Walker is seizing on the news as a sign that his six years as governor have turned around the state’s economy. Unemployment was 8.1 percent in 2011 when Walker took office.

However, Wisconsin’s low unemployment rate is tracking with a national drop as well. The national rate in May was 4.3 percent and it was 9 percent in January 2011.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that Wisconsin added the fewest jobs in 2016 of Walker’s six years in office. Thursday’s report shows the state lost 1,700 private sector jobs between April and May.

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