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Unemployment Down In Most Of Northwoods


Iron county has the state's second highest unemployment rate, but other Northwoods counties saw a marked drop in unemployment caused by summer hiring.

The state unemployment numbers released late last week find  Iron county's rate at 11.2 percent, the same as one month ago, and also the same rate as a year ago. Forest county was fourth highest, down 1.3 percent from a year ago, now at 8.3 percent, Langlade county is at 8 percent, Lincoln and  Vilas counties are at 7.2 percent, Oneida is at 6.9 percent, and Price county has the lowest area rate at 5.7 percent.

State economist Scott Hodek says the generally lower rates for June show these trends..

"....I would say one of the factors is the improving economy. The other factor that we've seen is seasonally, unemployment rates tend to rise from May to June. Then also you get a lot of students who are out finding their summer jobs. That causes the rate to spike a little bit until the market can absorb them."

Hodek says while the economy isn't growing very fast, he thinks the slow growth might have a silver lining: by this time after a growth period there usually is another recession. He says that hasn't happened as the economy hasn't shot upward only to fall again due to the relatively slow growth.