Chuck Clement beats me to the unemployment numbers for December, but you can see for yourself: Lake County saw its unemployment rate drop for the second straight month, from 5.9% in November to 5.5% in December. But then we also saw the number of jobs and members of the workforce decline for the second straight month as well. Lake County lost 105 jobs in December, but it also saw 140 prospective workers quit prospecting.
Lake County finished 2009 with 155 fewer jobs than it had at the end of 2008. That's a 2.4% drop. For those of you keeping score: the LAIC now has 820 jobs to create over the next 24 months to meet its Forward Madison job creation goal.
Our neighbors in Brookings didn't end the year on a labor high note. Their unemployment went up another couple ticks in December to 3.7%, their second-highest rate of 2009. They ended the year with 18,665 jobs, a 5.7% drop from the 19,785 jobs Brookings County had at the end of 2008.
In the septa-county area, Lake is in the middle of the unemployment pack. Brookings is still the area jobs leader, followed by Minnehaha (4.8% unemployed) and McCook (5.3%). We're doing a litle better than miner and Kingsbury (each at 5.6%). Moody brings up the rear, with 6.7% unemployment.
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