More jobs and more unemployment? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

More jobs and more unemployment?

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Federal leaders said Wisconsin employers created thousands of jobs last month. But the unemployment rate also went up. Experts said these conflicting numbers can be possible, and even common, in today's changing economy.

Economists typically look at trends lasting at least six months. Some said if you look much closer, the numbers can be deceiving.

Across the state last month, the U.S. Department of Labor reports 9,500 people stepped into a two-paycheck-a-month lifestyle, leaving the ranks of the unemployed and joining Wisconsin's growing labor force. But in that same 30-day period, unemployment numbers reportedly rose as well.

"When you're looking at any kind of economic numbers, you had better dig into them because they can give you a misleading indication," said UW-Stevens Point economic professor Randy Cray.

You might think job growth would mean less unemployment, but that's not always the case. In order for the U.S. Department of Labor to consider someone unemployed, they need to be actively looking for a job.

"When people start looking again and they say, 'yes, I've been looking because I think there are jobs out there,' well you're in the labor force and you're unemployed so the unemployment rate goes up," said Cray.

Across Wisconsin, the Department of Workforce Development reports unemployment rose between May and June, averaging about 8.1% statewide. Economists said this can stem from students finishing school and looking for a job.

"We have a long-established work force so we've got a lot of strengths playing for us," said Workforce Development Manager Tom Younger. "Because of our diverse economy, not all your eggs are in one basket."

Employment experts said they've seen growth in a number of areas, including truck driving, manufacturing and tourism. They said there's more to looking for a job than just filling out applications.

"Volunteer, go to school, improve your skills," said Younger. "Take a computer class, something like that because you want to be able to show a business that you've been actively doing something to improve yourself."

To take a closer look at the unemployment numbers, you can click the link here.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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