Unemployment rates increased in each of Wisconsin's 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in January compared to December, according to statistics released today by the state Department of Workforce Development (PDF). Janesville, where closure of the General Motors plant and associated suppliers has had a severe impact, recorded the highest rate at 11.6 percent, up from 8.0 percent in December. Rock County , where Janesville is located, recorded the greatest increase from January 2008 to January 2009, up 6.2 percentage points to 11.6 percent.
The bad news is not restricted to Janesville. Unemployment rates increased in each of the state's 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in January compared to December. Racine increased to 8.8 percent from 6.8 percent, Fond du Lac was up to 8.0 percent from 6.0 percent, and Sheboygan increased from 5.8 to 7.8 percent. The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis MSA increased to 7.1 percent from 5.7 percent.
All 12 MSAs recorded higher rates in January than a year ago, and unemployment rates also increased in all 72 Wisconsin counties during the month of January, when the state's overall unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent.