Rock County unemployment rate continues to drop

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Gazette staff
Thursday, May 22, 2014

MADISON—The unemployment rate in the Janesville metro area dropped again in April, this time into a tie for the lowest level since 2008.

Statewide, unemployment rates fell in all 12 metro areas, the Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday.

The department said the April rate for Rock County—also known as the Janesville Metropolitan Statistical Area—was 6.9 percent, lower than the 7.8 percent reported in March and the 8.2 percent tallied in April 2013.

The local area last hit that level in December 2013. Before then, the next lowest unemployment rate was 6.6 percent posted in October 2008. That was months before General Motors stopped making sport-utility vehicles in Janesville.

In its report, the department said the Rock County area created 1,200 new jobs in April.

Overall, the state unemployment rate in April was 5.9 percent, down from the 6.7 percent rate posted in March and lower than the 7 percent posted in April 2013, the department reported.

Of the 32 Wisconsin cities with at least 25,000 people, unemployment rates decreased in all.

Among counties, Rock County had the 28th-highest rate. Dane County had the lowest at 3.8 percent.

Walworth County had an April unemployment rate of 5.9 percent, while Green and Jefferson counties had rates of 5.4 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. March-April rates decreased in all but two of Wisconsin's counties.

Among individual cities, Janesville's rate of 7.2 percent in April was the 10th-highest in the state.

With an April unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, Beloit had the second-highest rate among Wisconsin cities. It trailed only Racine's April unemployment rate of 10.2 percent.

Local unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

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