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No help in area jobless numbers
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MADISON - Green and Lafayette counties are among the 55 counties in Wisconsin that had unemployment rate increases of less than a percentage point over the month, according to preliminary June jobs and unemployment numbers released Wednesday by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Lafayette County had 6.4 percent unemployment in June, up 0.6 percent from 5.8 percent May 2011, and down 0.4 percent from June 2010.

It dropped one place in ranking from May to 68th - the 6th lowest - among the 72 counties in the state.

Remaining in its 50th spot in the state, Green County saw unemployment rise to 7.6 percent, also up 0.6 percent from May, and down 0.8 percent from a year ago.

Menominee County retained its May ranking of first place with the highest rate at 20.6 percent, and Dane County was last again with the lowest rate of 5.8 percent.

Eight of the 72 counties had lower rates or no change in June.

Compared to a year ago, rates were lower in 49 counties and unchanged in three.

Local, county and metro area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are expected to grow between May and June as students finish out the academic year and enter the job market for summer employment, according to DWD.

Additionally, all June numbers are preliminary and subject to revision within the next several weeks.

All 12 metro areas experienced increases in their unemployment rate from May to June. Madison had the lowest rate at 6.0 percent, followed by 6.7 percent in La Crosse and 7.3 percent in Oshkosh-Neenah. Janesville had the highest rate at 10.1 percent, but posted the largest one-year drop (-1.1 percent) from 11.2 percent in June 2010.

Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Scott Baumbach said strategies to improve Wisconsin's business climate and create jobs are working.

"A majority of the 12,900 private-sector jobs added in June - which represents the largest one-month jump since September 2003 appears to be in non-metro areas, where tourism plays an especially strong role in the local economy," Baumbach said. "As we reported last week, the state's leisure and hospitality industry posted a net gain of 6,200 jobs in June."

Metro Wausau experienced the highest gain in employment, with 700 additional jobs during June on a seasonally adjusted basis, followed by Appleton with a gain of 500 over the month.

Fond du Lac and Oshkosh-Neenah also added jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, while Sheboygan saw no changes in job numbers over the month.

Metro Eau Claire, Green Bay, Janesville, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Racine experienced decreases over the month. Compared to a year ago, metro Milwaukee has gained 23,300 jobs. Madison added 3,300 jobs. Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Janesville, Oshkosh-Neenah, Sheboygan and Wausau also added jobs over 12 months.

"Wisconsin has added 39,300 private-sector jobs since Governor Walker declared Wisconsin open for business. More job seekers are renewing their efforts, encouraged by job prospects including over 32,000 openings posted last week on We're moving in the right direction," Baumbach said.

- Tere Dunlap