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Janesville is one of only three areas in state to post job gains

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JAMES P. LEUTE
March 18, 2010
— Janesville was one of only three metropolitan areas in the state to post job gains in January, but the area’s unemployment rate skyrocketed by nearly 2 percent and continues to be the highest in Wisconsin.

The local unemployment rate in January was 12.8 percent, up from the 11 percent reported in December, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Development.


Each month, the department reports on 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in Wisconsin. Listed as the Janesville MSA, the area actually includes Beloit and most of Rock County.


In particular, the city of Beloit’s jobless rate in January was 18.3 percent, the highest in the state. The city of Janesville’s rate was 13.1 percent.


Overall, the state reported an increase of 5,600 jobs in January. The Milwaukee region added 3,000, while the Green Bay and Janesville MSAs added 600 and 200, respectively.


The discrepancy between the addition of jobs in the Janesville MSA and the increasing unemployment rate is because the source of the data is two different surveys, said Eric Grosso, a senior economist with the state.


The unemployment rate in the Janesville area is based on a survey of people living in the area. The jobs numbers, however, come from a place-of-work survey and could mean that someone who lives outside the MSA got a job within the area.


On a statewide basis, all 12 MSAs saw their unemployment rates increase in January, a period during the winter when rates are typically the highest.


The Madison MSA had the lowest unemployment rate—at 6.8 percent.


“Although Wisconsin has weathered the national recession better than some states, the local unemployment rates underscore continuing challenges,” DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman said. “Working with our regional partners, we continue to do all that we can to connect job seekers and employers and move the economy forward.”


The overall state unemployment rate was 9.6 percent, up from 8.3 percent in December.


The national unemployment rate in January was 9.7 percent, down from 10 percent in December.



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