Lower Northwoods jobless numbers reflect a slowly growing economy and traditional summer hiring practices.
The Department of Workforce Development late last week released the local unemployment rates. Price county had the area's lowest rate at 5.6 percent. Lincoln county at 6.7 percent, Oneida at 6.9 percent, Langlade at 7.4 percent, Forest at 7.9 percent and Vilas at 8.1 percent. Iron county had the states second highest rate at 11.3 percent.
State economist Scott Hodek says businesses hurt by a slow economy and the weather saw an increase...
"...we're starting to see the seasonality starting to move into full swing here. One thing I've noticed in particular, we've seen a lot more seasonal hiring like construction and leisure and hospitality...."
Hodeck says the weather in May, 2013 was so bad it hurt many businesses.
This spring, Vilas county had a sharp drop from April to May...
"..,..for Vilas it actually dropped three points. That is a ton of seasonal variability...."
All the counties saw their jobless rates drop by at least one percent, with Lincoln and Oneida counties nearly two percentage points lower than one year ago. Hodek says as a caution, the numbers also reflect the Baby Boomers launching into full retirement and many of the long term unemployed just dropping out of the job market.