By Rick Romell
Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell again last month, dropping to its lowest point in 15 years, the State Department of Workforce Development said Thursday.

The preliminary, 4.2% jobless rate in May was down from 4.4% in April, and from 4.6% in May 2015, the department said. The figures are adjusted to account for the typical seasonal variations in employment.

Wisconsin’s jobless rate again bested the national figure — 4.7% in May — and, compared with the country, the state continues to have a significantly larger percentage of its residents in the workforce.

The latest decline in unemployment here puts the Wisconsin rate at its lowest level since it hit 4.2% in March 2001, just after the U.S. had finished a decade-long period of economic expansion.

The Workforce Development department also said Wisconsin added 45,900 private-sector jobs from May 2015 to May 2016.

But the gain in private-sector employment for 2015 that the department reported last month — it had said the state added 35,565 jobs from December 2014 to December 2015 — turns out to have been overstated.

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