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Unemployment up, but new UI claims down in central Wisconsin


MADISON,WI (WSAU) -  Wisconsin’s unemployment figures are out for February, and there’s no major changes. That’s according to Tom Walsh from the Department of Workforce Development. Walsh says there are no significant changes in the month-to-month or the year-to-year figures. He did say the monthly figures can be affected by weather and jobs with a seasonal component such as outdoor or construction jobs.

Walsh confirms that Wisconsin unemployment up a bit, but so is the nation. He says Wisconsin and the whole nation are experiencing similar issues. “I think it’s pretty much the same pattern. I don’t think there’s any urgent problems facing Wisconsin that are different than the nation’s.”

The report includes February unemployment. March has one statistic that Walsh is optimistic about, and that’s declining unemployment claims. “There’s not really any signs pointing to bad. The biggest sign I look at is the initial claims for unemployment insurance, and we’re seeing declines in the area and in the state. There’s a few counties that are steady, but in the central Wisconsin area, we’re seeing declining unemployment insurance claims.”

Walsh says declining unemployment claims almost always indicates less layoffs or more hiring. He says either or both of those scenarios is welcome news.