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Wisconsin unemployment rate down


UNDATED (WSAU)  Wisconsin’s new unemployment rate is the lowest since December of 2008, when Wall Street almost collapsed and the Great Recession had just reared its head. State officials said yesterday that the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for December was 6.6-percent. That’s the same as the rate for November, which was revised downward by one-tenth-of-a-point.

U-W Milwaukee professor John Heywood says the rise in employment and the drop in joblessness are both moving very slowly compared to past economic recoveries. But private economist David Ward of Madison says the figures show a definite improvement. Wisconsin’s new jobless rate is more than two-and-a-half percent lower than the state’s highest rate during the recession – which was 9.2-percent during several months in 2009-and-2010.

Officials also said yesterday that Wisconsin gained an estimated 4,500 private sector jobs in December. But that was almost off-set by a drop of 3,200 jobs in Wisconsin’s public schools and local governments