State unemployment rises in February - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

State unemployment rises in February


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Wisconsin and the U.S. average are heading in different directions when it comes to unemployment.

In February, the states unemployment rate ticked went up 0.2 percent to 7.2 percent.  At the same time, the national average dropped by 0.2 percent to 7.7 percent.  That's the lowest rate in four years.

The drop follows a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed Wisconsin ranked 44th in private sector job creation in the quarter ending in September.  The ranking put Wisconsin well behind other Midwestern states including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.  Despite the bad news, Governor Scott Walker says he's staying positive.

"The big difference is we lost 133,000 jobs under Jim Doyle's last term in office," says Gov. Scott Walker, (R) Wisconsin.  "We gained jobs here in the State of Wisconsin.  I just think you had in particular in 2012, a lot of uncertainty with where the state was going."

In February, Wisconsin added around 12,100 jobs, with all the jobs gained in the public sector.  The overall jobs gain for Wisconsin in the last year is 32,200.

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