Wisconsin leads nation in job losses - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin leads nation in job losses, unemployed hope for turnaround

WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Eight months have passed and Monique Ingalls is still filling out applications. "I do about 15 hours a week just looking for a job," she said.

And she's not alone. Hundreds use the Marathon County Job Center to search databases and apply for jobs, but some new numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have job seekers like Monique worried. Wisconsin lost 14,600 jobs in the month of November, making our state the nation's leader.

But a local economist told Newsline 9 it's not all bad news. 

"It's a good thing to see one of the engines in terms of the counties job base gain jobs over the year," said John Westbury, a labor market analyst with the Job Center. He said the Wausau metro area gained 400 manufacturing jobs this past year, a good sign for future economic growth.

Westbury's advice is one factor that led Monique to look for a factory job to support her family. "I would say it's competitive because so many people here have just as much experience as I do."

To boost her potential, Monique is also going back to school. Something she said is vital in today's job market. Local job experts agree.

"If you keep your skills up to date you will be more competitive immediately," said Rene Daniels, Executive Director for the North Central Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Board.

And finding the right match when it comes to employers and potential employees is key to landing a job these days. "The unemployment rate in central Wisconsin is going down, but at the same time, we're starting to see more of a mismatch in terms of the openings that are available and the skill sets that the people who are looking for jobs have," said Daniels.

Westbury said the latest numbers for Marathon County show about 6.5 percent of people are unemployed, a one percent drop from last year.

Monique hopes to escape that statistic soon. "I try to be positive about it but it's very hard to be positive in this situation because I've been looking for so long."

It's important to note that the latest unemployment and job loss numbers don't include the most recent layoff announcements from Wausau Paper in Brokaw and SNE Enterprises in Mosinee. Experts said those will not show up in reports until next year.

If you are looking for a job, experts say the following links can be helpful in your search:

Marathon Co. Job Center: http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory/wda06/0610.htm

Workforce Development Board: http://ncwwdb.org/main.php?content_name=home

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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