Northwoods unemployment numbers ticked up late last year, but a state economist says that is not unusual for the winter months.
The Department of Workforce Development reports Iron county had the state's highest rate at 5.6 percent, still lower than the rate of one year ago by two percentage points.Forest county had the state's fourth- highest rate at 4.6 percent, down over a point from the previous year, Vilas came in at 4.4 percent, Oneida at 4 percent, both counties down more than one point from the previous year, Langlade 3.8 percent, Price at 3.5 percent and Lincoln at 2.8 percent, again, all more than one point lower than the previous year. Many of the counties did show an uptick from November, 2017 numbers.
State labor economist Mitchell Rupp in Wausau says a small increase in unemployment is typical this time of year...
"....we saw the unemployment rate go up in the area. This typically is what happens this time of year is the unemployment rate will increase during the colder months of the year, being January and February. This is typically what we see...."
Statewide, the unemployment rate hit 3 percent down from 3.2 percent in November 2017. The December 2017 rate matches the state's record low, The data also showed the state added 43,500 private sector jobs from December 2016 Dane and Lafayette counties each had the state's lowest rate at 1.9 percent.