Northwoods Unemployment Remains Above State Average
Northwoods unemployment remains well above the state average, but a state official says with one exception the rates are below one year ago.
The Department of Workforce Development reports Iron county has the state's highest rate at 13.3 percent. Vilas has the third-highest, at 10.7 percent, Forest county is eighth at 9.2 percent, Oneida county ninth at 8.6 percent. Lincoln and Langlade counties are at 7.6 percent. Price county is at 5.7 percent.
State economist Tom Walsh in Wausau says though high, the rate is lower than a year ago for all but Iron county....
".....we look at the year-over-year change as a clearer indicator of economic change within the area. When you look at year-over-year change, the unemployment rates across most of the Northwoods are down.
Walsh says there's one indicator showing a better jobs picture here...
"....we look at initial claims as a proxy for layoffs. When claims are declining it's a sign that fewer workers are being laid off. In general over the past four weeks we've seen claims go down from where they were a year ago...."
Dane county has the state's lowest rate at 3.8 percent.