MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced December 2007 unemployment rates for the state’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSA).
“The state’s labor market condition for county and metro areas showed mixed results in December as the majority of areas lowered their unemployment rate, but also lowered job counts when compared to November,” Secretary Gassman said. “Labor market figures for December were likely influenced by seasonal factors including weather, education related employment, and seasonal retail employment.”
Unemployment rates decreased in 9 of the state’s 12 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) on a monthly basis in December, two experienced small increases, and one was unchanged. The Madison MSA had the lowest rate in December at 3.3 percent, followed by Wausau at 3.9 percent. The Racine MSA recorded the highest rate at 5.7 percent. Compared to one year ago, four MSAs had lower rates this year, six are higher, and two were unchanged.
Preliminary nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased over-the-month in one metro area, decreased in eight, and remained the same in three. The over-the-year comparison of job estimates shows an increase in 10 of Wisconsin’s 12 MSAs, a decrease in one, and no change for one.
Unemployment rates decreased in 28 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in December, while 33 saw increases, and 11 were unchanged. The largest decrease was in Menominee County, which dropped 1.1 percentage points to 9.5 percent. Taylor County, rising 1.2 percentage points to 5.6 percent, had the largest increase in unemployment rate. Dane County had the state’s lowest rate in December at 3.1 percent, with Ozaukee County coming in second at 3.3 percent. Menominee County recorded the highest rate with 9.5 percent, followed by Iron County at 8.4 percent. In all, there were 31 counties with rates of over 5.0 percent and 41 counties with rates of 5.0 percent or less.
Annually, 34 counties had lower rates compared to December 2006, while 12 were unchanged, and 26 had higher rates. The greatest increase, 1.9 percentage points, occurred in Menominee County, while Florence County, dropping 1.2 percent, had the greatest annual decrease.