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Wisconsin's jobless rate falls to 6.5%; lowest since '08

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's unemployment rate is the lowest since late 2008, when the Great Recession was just starting to build momentum. 

State officials said Thursday that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for October was 6.5 percent, down one-tenth of a point from September. 

 Wisconsin's new rate is just under a percent lower than the national figure of 7.3 %. 

Preliminary numbers show that Wisconsin added 6,000 manufacturing jobs last month, 4,300 retail posts, and 2,500 educational and health jobs. However, those figures are based on only a small percentage of employer surveys. 

Governor Walker's administration takes more stock in federal quarterly reports that survey virtually all employers, but don't get a lot of publicity because they have a time lag of several months. 

Thursday, the state said it told federal officials that Wisconsin created just under 24,000 private sector jobs during the year ending in June. Manufacturing, the state's biggest job sector, lost 119 positions during the year. 

Also, we don't know yet how Wisconsin's overall job increase compares to other states. We'll find out next month, when the national Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages is released.