Local unemployment rate falls in May

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Gazette staff
Thursday, June 26, 2014

MADISON—The unemployment rate in the Janesville metro area dropped in May to its lowest level in nearly six years.

Statewide, unemployment rates fell in 10 of the state's 12 metro areas, the Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday. The rates remained the same in the other two.

The department said the May rate for Rock County—also known as the Janesville Metropolitan Statistical Area—was 6.5 percent, lower than the 6.8 percent reported in April and the 7.7 percent tallied in May 2013.

The local area last hit that level in September 2008, when the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. That was two months before General Motors stopped making sport-utility vehicles in Janesville.

In its report, the department said the Rock County area created 700 new jobs in May.

Overall, the state unemployment rate in May was 5.5 percent, down from the 5.9 percent rate posted in April and lower than the 6.5 percent posted in May 2013, the department reported.

Of the 32 Wisconsin cities with at least 25,000 people, unemployment rates decreased or stayed the same in 23.

Among counties, Rock County had the 23rd-highest rate. Dane County had the lowest at 3.8 percent.

Walworth County had a May unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, while Green and Jefferson counties had rates of 4.9 percent and 5.7, respectively. April-May rates decreased in all but three of Wisconsin's counties.

Among cities, Janesville's rate of 6.9 percent in May was the 11th-highest in the state.

With a May unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, Beloit had the second-highest rate among Wisconsin cities. It trailed only Racine's May unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.

Local unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

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