However, the employment outlook is starting to look better. Racine’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in Sept., a 1.7 percent decrease compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent compared with 6.1 percent the same time last year. Employers from the private sector added 124,000 jobs. The number of people filing for unemployment for the first 40 weeks of 2014 and the annual average weekly unemployment claims are at the lowest point since 2000.
Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate — the percentage of Wisconsin residents 16 and older that are in the labor force — has dropped from 74 percent in 1997 to 68 percent in 2014.