DWD: December Local Unemployment Rates Announced

For Immediate Release:
Rose Lynch (608) 266-6753
Terry Ludeman (608) 267-3262
Actuality Line (866) 556-7623

Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that 11 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties had unemployment rates below 4.0 percent for the month of December 2003.

“While we are encouraged by the news that a majority of Wisconsin counties experienced improvements in their average monthly unemployment rates in 2003, we remain concerned about the harder hit, heavy manufacturing areas of the state,” said Secretary Gassman.

The lowest was Dane County at 2.3 percent, followed by Calumet and Iowa counties at 3.3 percent and La Crosse County at 3.6 percent. The highest county unemployment rate in December was 8.9 percent in Door County, followed by Menominee County at 8.8 percent, Marquette County at 8.7 percent, and Oconto County at 8.5 percent. Many of the counties with the highest unemployment rates were found in the northeastern part of the state. However, the northeastern sector of the state was also home to a number of the lowest unemployment rates, with Calumet, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties less than 4.0 percent and a number of counties clustered around 4.0 percent.

The western part of the state had many of the lowest unemployment rates, while the northern portion of the state, and the southeastern part of the state had many of the highest rates. The northern tier is subject to much higher unemployment rates during the winter months, and the southeastern portion of the state continues to be influenced by job losses in manufacturing.