Unemployment rates increased across Wisconsin in January – but most cities, counties and metro areas were down from the same time a year ago. Numbers released by the state Department of Workforce Development Wednesday show the 32 largest cities had higher unemployment in January, compared with December, while 30 cities saw a decrease from January of 2011. Beloit’s unemployment rate was the highest in January – 12.2 percent. The Racine County Village of Caledonia had the lowest – 3.5 percent.
All 12 metro areas had lower rates in January 2012 than January 2011 and higher rates than December 2011. Janesville had the highest rate at 9.4 percent and Madison had the lowest at 5.3 percent. The largest year-over-year decrease was in metro Sheboygan, which dropped by 1.6 percent to 7.2 percent from 8.8 percent in January 2011.
All Wisconsin’s 72 counties, except Florence, had higher unemployment rates from December to January – but all but two had lower rates than a year ago. Door County had the highest unemployment at 13.5 percent while Dane County had the lowest at just 4.9 percent. The statewide unemployment rate in January was 6.9 percent.