The recently-ended federal government shutdown is affecting more than federal programs: it's also slowing down the state's reporting on unemployment.
The Department of Workforce Development routinely puts out local jobless numbers the fourth week of the month. Not this month, as state economist Tom Walsh points out.
But Walsh says some local trends were seen...
"....we've been seeing initial claims for unemployment insurance decline in the local area. I haven't seen anything that would make that change. Even with the (federal) shutdown, we were able to look at initial claims for unemployment insurance. Through the Northwoods they were lower than they were at this time last year...."
Walsh says those numbers appear to follow a trend that the Northwoods unemployment numbers are slowly declining, but still are higher than many spots in western and southern Wisconsin.
The shutdown will likely postpone the local state numbers until November.