"There's so many people that are out of work that are looking." - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

"There's so many people that are out of work that are looking for jobs."

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Economists say lower unemployment rates aren't always a good sign. Job experts said one contributing factor to the lower unemployment rate is discouraged workers. They're people who have been looking for jobs, but for whatever reason have given up.

"I'm not really too optimistic about it right now because there's so many people that are out of work that are looking for jobs," said Paul Missett, who was recently laid off.

"It's still difficult for people and we know that people are still having difficulty finding jobs," said Tom Younger, who is a workforce development area manager. "We certainly understand that. But in Wisconsin there's a diverse economy so it makes it easier than it is for folks that live in some other states."

Across the country, unemployment numbers have dipped to 8.6%. Wisconsin numbers are usually lower than the nation. And Marathon County's -- even lower than that. But job experts said sometimes higher unemployment numbers show more promise in a tough economy.

"Those workers who were discouraged and weren't looking and therefore weren't counted before now see that there are more jobs available so they come back into the labor market," said Younger.

Job experts said after businesses assess how they did during the year, many will look to start hiring.. Once January rolls around.

"Last year was better than the year before which was better than the year before," said Younger. "So we're starting to see a trend, even in January, of businesses taking a good long look at what they think their sales are going to be and actually starting to hire people."

The Wisconsin Job Center website currently has more than 30,000 open positions listed. You can find their site by clicking here.

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