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Unemployment down: Rates dip from June in Green, Lafayette counties
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MONROE - Unemployment numbers in Green and Lafayette counties ticked down in July, in step with the state rate without seasonal adjustments, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Lafayette County dropped to 5.9 percent unemployment last month, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.1 percent in June. Green County dropped one-tenth of a point to 6.9 percent, down from 7.0 percent in June. County numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Wisconsin was down two-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.6 in June to 7.4 percent in July, without seasonal adjustment. Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 7.3 percent, up from 7.0 percent in June.

Without seasonal adjustment, the U.S. rate was 8.6 percent, up from 8.4 percent in June and down from 9.3 percent in July 2011.

In year-to-year comparisons, Lafayette County's unemployment rates for July have dropped from 7.7 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2010 and to 6.1 percent in 2011.

Green County July rates have gone from 9.7 percent in 2009 to 7.9 percent in 2010 and to 6.9 percent in 2011.

Without seasonal adjustment, Wisconsin July rate was down from 9.1 percent in 2009, 8.2 percent in 2010 and 7.6 percent in 2011.

Of the 72 Wisconsin counties, 56 had either rate declines or no change in July 2012 compared to July 2011. Between June and July 2012, 67 counties had either declines or no change in their rates. Rates ranged from 5.3 percent in Dane to 20.2 percent in Menominee.

Dane was down from 5.4 percent in June but up from 5.2 in July 2011. Rock County was at 8.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent in June and 9.5 percent a year ago. Iowa County was at 5.6 percent, down from 6.1 percent in June and up from 5.3 percent in July 2011. Lafayette, Dane and Iowa have the lowest unemployment, at 5 to 5.9 percent, in the southern third of the state.

Preliminary unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) declined in all metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) except Racine, which had no change, between June and July. The July 2012 rates ranged from 5.4 percent in metro Madison to 9.2 percent in metro Racine.

Rates either declined or remained unchanged in 10 of the 12 metro areas year over year. Eau Claire and Racine had slight increases.

Janesville MSA unemployment rate stood at 8.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent in June and 9.5 percent in July 2011. Janesville area employment numbers showed an increase of about 1,000 people since July 2011. Madison area July rate was the same as in 2011, but down from 5.6 percent in June. Madison employment has dropped by 700 people since a year ago.

In the cities, Janesville unemployment was at 9.3 percent, down from 10 percent in June and 10.1 percent a year ago. Madison held steady at 5.4 percent for the month and was up slightly from 5.3 percent a year ago.

Of the 32 municipalities with at least 25,000 residents, 24 had either declines or no change in unemployment rates year over year. From June to July 2012, all but two municipalities had either declines or no change in rates. Rates ranged from 4.0 percent in Caledonia to 12.7 percent in Racine.

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).

DWD last week submitted unemployment insurance (UI) records for the first three months of 2012 to the federal government. The UI administrative data show private sector job growth of 37,464 from March 2011 to March 2012. The federal government will incorporate the data in its next QCEW release covering the first quarter of 2012 for all states.

DWD also reported Wednesday the Wisconsin Department of Revenue individual income tax revenue collections were up by more than 4.3 percent through May (FY 2012). The Department of Financial Institutions new business formation is up this year by 8.8 percent through the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. There has been a decline this calendar year in initial and weekly DWD Unemployment Insurance claims.