DWD: July Local Unemployment Rates Announced

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 July 2004 than they had experienced in July 2003.

“Governor Doyle has a plan for economic development in Wisconsin and that plan is working. For the sixth consecutive month, most Wisconsin counties reported lower unemployment rates than one year ago,” Secretary Gassman said. “We are pleased that Wisconsin’s labor market picture continues to show improvement, but we still have much more work to do, with more than 145,000 citizens still looking for work.”

There were 28 counties with unemployment rates at 4.0 percent or lower, and three of those had unemployment rates below 3.0 percent. Those three were Buffalo County at 2.9 percent, Dane County at 2.4 percent, and Ozaukee County at 2.9 percent. Four counties had higher rates and one was unchanged. There were five counties with unemployment rates at 7.2 percent or higher, including Racine and Juneau Counties at 7.2 percent, Oconto County at 7.7 percent, Rock County at 7.9 percent, and Menominee County at 11.0 percent.

The southeastern corner of the state had the highest concentration of unemployed, while the south central corridor, in spite of high unemployment in Rock County, had the lowest concentration.

In the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, most had seasonally adjusted rates of 4.4 percent or lower, below the state’s 4.7 percent rate. Exceptions were Janesville/Beloit at 6.0 percent, Kenosha at 4.7 percent, Milwaukee/Waukesha at 5.0 percent, and Racine at 6.6 percent. The 5.0 percent seasonally adjusted rate for the Milwaukee/Waukesha metro area was the lowest monthly rate for the Milwaukee/Waukesha area since October 2001. The Madison metro area had the lowest seasonally adjusted rate at 2.5 percent, with the La Crosse metro area close behind at 3.4 percent. All of the state’s metro areas had lower seasonally adjusted rates in July 2004 than they had in July 2003, except the Kenosha metro area, which saw its rate change slightly from 4.6 percent in July of 2003 to 4.7 percent in July 2004.

Nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased over the year in each of the metro areas except Kenosha and Racine. The increases were especially noteworthy for the Green Bay area, which saw a 6,800 job increase, and the Milwaukee/Waukesha metro area, which saw a 12,400 job increase over the year.

View release and data http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dwd/newsreleases/