Unemployment rate down 2.2% from 2009
The Rock County Job Center has scheduled three job fairs at which people will be able to apply for open positions. All start at 10 a.m. at the center, 1900 Center Ave., Janesville.
-- Today: Tigre USA—The Janesville manufacturer of pipes and fittings wants to fill three permanent positions.
-- Friday, Jan. 28: Morgan Corp.—The Janesville manufacturer of truck and van body products wants to fill 77 positions on a temporary basis with the possibility of permanent employment.
-- Friday, Feb. 4: URT—The Janesville recycler of electronic waste wants to fill 11 positions.
JANESVILLE A continued drop in the area's unemployment rate reflects an improving economy, but it's further evidence that the recovery is gradual.
The state's Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that the December unemployment rate for the Janesville metropolitan area was 9.2 percent, a slight improvement over November's rate and a whopping 2.2 percent better than the rate posted in December 2009.
The Janesville area's year-over-year improvement was the best among the state's 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
"We're certainly seeing some signs of a turnaround," said Bob Borremans, executive director of Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. "A lot of the signs are anecdotal, but they're still signs of improvement."
One sign that's not anecdotal is the Rock County Job Center's scheduling of more job fairs.
Earlier this month, hundreds showed up at the center to apply for positions at Stoughton Trailer plants in Stoughton and Brodhead.
The job center also has job fairs scheduled for today, Friday and Feb. 4, at which three local companies hope to fill more than 90 jobs.
"That's a good thing," Borremans said. "It's more activity than we've seen in some time."
He added that initial unemployment claims have been decreasing through January.
"That, too, is a good indicator," he said.
Statewide, the December unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, down from 7.1 percent in November and 8.3 percent in December 2009.
Among individual cities, Beloit still has the highest rate in the state at 13 percent. But that's a 0.5 percent improvement over November and a 3.5 percent gain on the December 2009 rate. At 9.7 percent, Janesville had the fifth-highest December rate among Wisconsin cities.