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Wisconsin economy adds jobs, but unemployment still rises


MADISON (WSAU)   Wisconsin added 12,400 private sector jobs in January – but the state’s unemployment rate still rose to 7-percent, up from 6.7-percent the month before. The seasonally-adjusted figures were released yesterday by the state’s Workforce Development agency. The report said government jobs fell by about 10,600, but officials said it was probably due to the timing of paychecks by the U-W System.

Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson has challenged the accuracy of the monthly job reports for more than a year. He says they’re only based on surveys from three-and-a-half percent of the state’s employers – and they’re subject to major revisions later on. Newson said last year’s monthly reports under-counted the numbers of Wisconsin jobs by a total of 67,000 throughout the year. The Walker administration has emphasized another federal report in which 96-percent of employers provide job data. But those numbers are up to seven months old when they’re released.