Unemployment rates fall in most states

February unemployment rates fell in most states, including Wisconsin, and two-thirds of the states reported job gains.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate declined to a preliminary 6.1 percent in February from a revised rate of 6.2 percent for the previous month, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reported. However, Wisconsin lost an estimated 1,600 private sector jobs, while adding 6,200 jobs in the government sector in February.

The U.S. Labor Department says unemployment rates dropped in 29 states, rose in 10 and were unchanged in the remaining 11. Meanwhile, hiring rose in 33 states and fell in 17.

The rate declines occurred even though unemployment rose nationwide, to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent. That increase occurred partly for a good reason, as more Americans began looking for work. Employers added 175,000 jobs nationwide in February, close to the average monthly gains of the past two years.

Wisconsin was second in the nation in total job losses last month, a somewhat surprising development considering the unemployment rate is at its lowest since November 2008.

Read more in today’s Morning Headlines.

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