DWD: March Local Unemployment Rates Announced
For Immediate Release:
Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753
Madison - Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that 66 of Wisconsin's 72 counties had lower unemployment rates in March 2004 than they had reported for March of 2003. Five counties had higher rates and one was unchanged from one year ago. All eleven of Wisconsin's Metropolitan Statistical Areas had lower rates than they had reported one year ago. Seven of those metro areas had seasonally adjusted rates 4.6 percent or lower. The Madison metro area had the state's lowest seasonally adjusted rate at 2.6 percent followed by Wausau at 3.8 percent and La Crosse at 4.3 percent.
"Most Wisconsin Counties experienced improvement in unemployment rates compared to month ago and year ago figures, with 57 counties having lower rates than last month and 65 with lower rates than one year ago," Secretary Gassman said. "As previously reported, however, manufacturing employment continues to be sluggish, particularly in the southeast corner of the state."
Dane County also had the lowest county rate in the state in March, with a 3.1 percent rate, followed by Ozaukee County at 4.6 percent and Waukesha County at 4.7 percent. The highest county rate in Wisconsin for March was reported for Rusk County at 11.8 percent. Oconto reported an 11.2 percent rate and Juneau and Marquette counties both had 10.9 percent unemployment rates.
The manufacturing sector job market, particularly in the southeastern part of the state, continues to be very sluggish. The Milwaukee metropolitan area, Racine County, Kenosha County, and Rock County all reported continued losses in manufacturing from last year's March figure. Manufacturing losses are not as great as they were throughout the last few years, but the sector continues to lose jobs.
This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.