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Wisconsin unemployment hits record low of 2.8%

January 20, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.8% in December, after tying the previous low of 3% in November, the state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The state rate is below the national unemployment rate of 3.9% for December. Wisconsin gained 5,300 private sector jobs in December. The number of people counted as unemployed in Wisconsin, 86,200, also hit a record low, the department reported.

Hitting a new unemployment rate low comes amid a worker shortage both in the state and nationwide. Republicans who control the state Legislature this week unveiled a package of bills that would cut unemployment and other benefits as part of a strategy to get more people into the workforce.

Gov. Tony Evers has also devoted federal pandemic relief money toward the worker shortage problem, including $130 million for job training programs and local efforts to develop long-term solutions to the labor shortage and $60 million for workforce development grants.

Evers, who is up for reelection this year, said the news was worth celebrating and “evidence of the resilience and innovation of Wisconsinites across our state.”