The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

November jobless numbers brutal for northern Wisconsin counties


The employment picture in Iron County, which has the highest jobless rate in Wisconsin, didn’t get any better in November.

The latest report from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development lists the county with a 13.2 percent jobless rate, compared to 12.1 percent in October and 11.9 percent a year ago.

Neighboring Vilas County shot to a 9.5 percent unemployment rate in November from 7.8 percent in October. As a result, Vilas County moved from seventh to fourth in the percentage of residents unemployed.

Oneida County worsened from 6.9 percent in October to 7.7 percent in November.

Price County’s November rate was 5.3 percent, up just a bit from 5.1 percent in October, and Ashland County improved from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent.

Another northern Wisconsin county, Bayfield, jumped from having the 13th worst jobless rate in the state to third, slumping from 7.3 percent to 10.3 percent.

In its review of the counties, the DWD said employment rates improved or remained the same in only 19 of the state’s 72 counties.

One of the few shining lights in the north was Douglas County, where the economy is picking up considerably. The November jobless rate there was 4.9 percent, compared to 5.6 percent in October and it was 5.6 percent a year ago.

Likewise Superior, Douglas County’s biggest city, saw an improvement from 5.7 percent to 4.8 percent in its jobless rate.

DWD Secretary Reginald Newson didn’t explain why the northern job numbers worsened in November, but he said Wisconsin’s overall unemployment rate of 6.3 percent was below the national rate and was the state’s lowest since December 2008.


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