Unemployment Hitting New Lows In Northwoods

Jan 9, 2018

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Economists often say an unemployment rate of four percent is statistically full employment. Only six of the state's 72 counties are at four percent or higher, with the majority well below it.

The Department of Workforce Development recently released the local employment and unemployment rates for November. Iron county had the state's highest rate of 5.3 percent. Forest county had the state's seventh-highest rate at 3.9 percent, Vilas was ninth at 3.8 percent, Langlade county is at 3.2 percent, Price and Oneida county at 3.1 percent and Lincoln at 2.5 percent.

State labor economist Mitchell Rupp in Wausau says the numbers are showing lots of people are working...

"....I know economists say 4.0 is the rate of full employment, and before that it was probably 4.5 percent. We continue to see unemployment rates continue to decrease...."

All counties in the region saw their jobless rates fall one or more percent from 2016. The current statewide unemployment average is 2.7 percent. The lowest rates included 2  percent in Dane, Green and Lafayette counties.