DWD: October Local Unemployment Rates Announced

Contact: Rose Lynch, (608) 266-6753
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Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced that ten of the twelve metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had lower rates in October 2005 than in October 2004 or September 2005. Two MSAs, Green Bay at 3.8% and Fond du Lac at 3.6% were unchanged from October 2004, but had improved rates over September 2005.

Nine of the state’s twelve MSAs had unemployment rates under 4.0 percent, led by the Madison MSA at 2.7%, the La Crosse MSA at 3.1%, and the Wausau MSA at 3.3%. The Milwaukee/Waukesha MSA at 4.3%, the Janesville/Beloit MSA at 4.4%, and the Racine MSA at 5.0% were the three MSAs at 4.0% or higher.


Fifty–three of Wisconsin’s seventy-two counties had lower unemployment rates in October 2005 than they experienced in October 2004, eight were unchanged and eleven had higher rates. Sixty counties had lower rates in October than they experienced in September. Nine counties saw higher unemployment rates is October than September, and three were unchanged.

“County and local unemployment figures for last month indicate another round of good news for Wisconsin workers. Our continued efforts to build Wisconsin’s workforce are clearly paying off,” Secretary Gassman said.

The best improvement in the state over the year was in Menominee County, where the rate dropped from 9.3 percent in October 2004, to 8.0 percent in October 2005. Manitowoc County dropped from 4.8 percent in October 2004 to 3.8 percent in October 2005. The largest increase over the year was in Ashland County, where the unemployment rate in October 2004 was 3.9 percent. Ashland County’s unemployment rate was 5.0 percent this year in October.

Forty-four counties had unemployment rates under 4.0 percent and five of those had rates under 3.0 percent, including Iowa County at 2.9%, Buffalo and Pierce counties at 2.8%, Trempealeau County at 2.7 percent, and Dane County at 2.6 percent. There were nine counties in the state with 5.0 percent or higher unemployment rates, with two of those at rates of 6.0 percent or higher. Those two were Iron County at 6.4% and Menominee County at 8.0 percent.

Geographic areas of the state with especially low rates included the northwestern portion of the state and the southwestern portion of the state, both with unemployment rates of 3.3 percent, and the south central portion of the state with a very low 3.2% unemployment rate. All geographic areas of the state saw lower rates in October than they had in September, and all but one saw lower rates in October 2005 than they had in October 2004. The northern tier of the state had the same rate this October as it had October 2004.

Note: Additional Charts and data available at: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2005/unemployment/oct05_local_lmi.pdf