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Wausau area adds jobs in August


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Jobless rates fell in central Wisconsin from July to August despite a slightly higher statewide unemployment rate.

The seasonally unadjusted jobless rates were lower in Marathon, Lincoln, Portage and Wood counties on a month-to-month basis and compared to August 2010.

The statewide average went up from 7.8 percent in July to 7.9 percent in August because of worries about the European debt crisis, volatile financial markets and political wrangling in Washington about how to reduce the nation's deficit.

The rate dropped in Marathon County from 7.7 percent in July to 7.4 percent last month because the private sector has added 600 new jobs over the last year, said state workforce development economist John Westbury. During the same time, the manufacturing sector has added 900 jobs and the leisure and hospitality sector has added 200 jobs.

In the city of Wausau alone, the jobless rate fell from 10.4 percent in July to 10.1 percent in August. The same time last year, the jobless rate was 11.7 percent. Among 31 cities that are surveyed, Wausau’s jobless rate was the seventh highest last month.

Westbury was unable to explain why the jobless rate in Lincoln County had fallen from 10.8 percent in July to 9.5 percent in August. He said more specific information about economic trends would not be available for six months. The county still had the third highest jobless rate among counties in the state last month.