Throughout the past year several northwoods counties have rated near the top of the state in unemployment.
Last month Lincoln County had the third highest rate in the state, at 10% unemployment, with the state average being 7.6%. That would lead one to believe the economy in the county to be poor, but that number could be misleading.
Jack Sroka of the Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation delved into the numbers deeper after seeing a report on the counties unemployment rate. When looking at job created versus unemployment, the charts did not match. Lincoln County created more than 500 jobs in May and June, yet the unemployment rate went up. Those numbers should be inverse.
Sroka noted that since so many people live in Lincoln County but work in Marathon County, the numbers could be greatly affected by closings at Wausau Paper and SNE. Job losses in some counties are affecting unemployment rates in other counties meaning that just unemployment is not the best indicator of business activity in the county.
That being said, those July unemployment numbers, released by the department of workforce development, are expected to be out in the next few days.