Thursday, October 27, 2011
Demographics, Not Improving Economic Conditions, Responsible for City of Racine's Lower Unemployment Rate
City jobless rate declines, so does the number of jobs. (Racine Journal-Times, 10/26/2011)
Excerpt: The city of Racine's jobless rate dropped to a deceptively lower 12.0 percent last month, while other measures showed a darkening employment Racine County picture over the past year.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Wednesday released its jobless rates and job estimates for September. From that month in 2010 to this September, the county lost an estimated 1,100 jobs while the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.6 percent.
The city of Racine's rate dropped from 13.1 percent to 12.0 percent in that time. That was the lowest it had been since January 2009, when the rate surged 3 percent in one month, to 13.7 percent.
However, a reduction in the city labor force was the biggest factor bringing down the jobless rate, explained Jeff Sachse, labor economist for eastern Wisconsin.
"It's not necessarily an indicator of an improving economic situation," he said about the declining unemployment rate. "It's probably more demographic than anything else."
In fact, 201 fewer city residents were working in September than 12 months earlier, the numbers show.