Unemployment higher in nearly every Wisconsin county, city

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Unemployment is up in nearly every Wisconsin city and county.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that 25 of the state's 32 largest cities saw unemployment increase between November and December. Unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.1 percent in Caledonia to a high of 11.9 percent in Racine.

All but two of the state's 72 counties had an increase. Only Menominee and Kenosha counties saw rates drop in December. The lowest was 4.4 percent in Dane County while Menominee County had the highest at 12.7 percent.

Statewide unemployment in December was 6.6 percent.

The data is based on monthly unemployment insurance claims and a survey of about 1,450 households. It is not seasonally adjusted and is subject to significant revision.

Further details released by DWD:
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimates of unemployment and employment statistics in December for metro areas, major cities and counties in the state of Wisconsin. In brief, the estimates showed:

• Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in all 12 metro areas between November and December, but either declined or remained unchanged in 10 metro areas year over year. The December 2012 rates ranged from 4.6 percent in metro Madison to 8.3 percent in metro Racine.

• Municipalities: Of 32 municipalities with at least 25,000 residents, 25 had rate increases between November and December, and seven had either a decrease or no change in the month over month rate. Year over year, 15 had an increase, while 17 had either a decrease or no change. Rates ranged from 3.1 percent in Caledonia to 11.9 percent in Racine.

• Counties: Of 72 counties, all but two had increases between November and December. Menominee had a 1.7 percent decrease, and Kenosha, a 0.2 percent decrease. Over the year, 25 had a rate increase, 34 had a rate decrease and 13 had no change. Rates ranged from 4.4 percent in Dane to 12.7 percent in Menominee.

The BLS preliminary unemployment estimates for cities, counties and metro areas are based on Unemployment Insurance claims and a monthly survey of 1,450 Wisconsin households (0.06 percent), called the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS). Additional place of work data, available at the state metro levels only, is based on a monthly survey of approximately 5,500 Wisconsin employers (3.5 percent), called the Current Employment Statistics (CES). The CES data series is volatile and subject to significant revisions. Revised totals for all months in 2012 and the second half of 2011 will undergo further refinement during an annual benchmarking process in early this year.

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