Even in some of the hardest-hit Northwoods counties, unemployment eased considerably in late summer.
The state released local unemployment figures last week. In the Northwoods, Iron county's rate fell below 10 percent for the first time in many months at 9.7 percent, still second-highest in the state.
Forest county's rate was fifth highest at 6.8 percent, Langlade was ninth at 6.7 percent, Lincoln county is at 6.2 percent, with Vilas and Oneida county both at 5.7 percent. Vilas county's rate is nearly 2 points lower than one year ago. Price county had the area's lowest rate at 4.8 percent.
State economist Jeff Sachse says late summer often reflects increased hiring to fill summer time jobs...
".....if you look at the counties over the course of the last month and year, most of the counties have observed a slight decrease in the size of the labor force in general. A lot of that is just attributed to an increase in retirements...."
Menominee county has the state's highest rate at 15.3 percent.
The state's lowest rates were below four percent in the western and southern areas of the state. Some economists say a rate near 3 percent is statistically near full employment.