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Janesville unemployment rate hits 2009 low

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JAMES P. LEUTE
October 22, 2009
— The Janesville metropolitan area continues to lead the state in unemployment, but the local rate is heading in the right direction: Down.

In fact, the area’s September unemployment rate of 11.1 percent is the lowest it’s been in 2009.


In August, unemployment for the Janesville Metropolitan Statistical Area was 12 percent, down from this year’s high of 13.6 percent in March, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.


For its unemployment reporting purposes, the Janesville MSA and Rock County are the same. While the local MSA rate topped the state’s 12 MSAs, it was the second-highest among Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Menominee County posted an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent in September.


Among Wisconsin cities, Beloit topped the list at 16 percent. Racine and West Bend trailed at 14.5 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively.


Janesville was fourth at 12.1 percent, down from 13 percent in August.


After hovering in the 5 percent to 6 percent range for much of 2008, Rock County’s unemployment rate shot up from 8.1 percent to 11.6 percent from December to January, about the time many of the layoffs associated with the disintegrating local auto industry started showing up on state rolls.


“The September local rates show further improvement, but challenges remain,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman said. “The rates for all metro areas and all but one county continue to decline with each month. Yet compared to a year ago, we have much more to do to help the unemployed and all job seekers, connect them with employers and move the economy forward.”



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