|Background: The unemployment rate is one of the most well-known measures of economic health; we report the seasonally unadjusted rate. A high unemployment rate indicates that many workers actively seeking jobs are unable to find employment. Fewer gainfully employed citizens lowers tax revenue and reduces consumer spending, both of which can negatively influence the overall economy. For more information on unemployment, visit the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development or the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2011 Southern Winnebago County LIFE Study contains additional information on employment issues in Oshkosh and the surrounding communities.|
Analysis: The unemployment rate roughly doubled during the most recent recession (2008-2009), increasing from about 5% to 10%. To put these numbers into perspective, the historical average unemployment rate since 2000 has been between 4% and 5%; during the great depression of the early 1930s, unemployment rates topped 20%. While both county- and state-level unemployment rates increased during the most recent recession, the unemployment rate in Winnebago County was always lower than the Wisconsin rate; this suggests that Winnebago County weathered the recent recession, from an employment perspective, somewhat better than the state as a whole. Both rates are considerably below the national unemployment rate of 8.1% in April (state and county being 6.8% and 6.0% respectively). As we already see a marked decline since April, it appears the state and county may be on track for lower levels of unemployment this year than in the recent past.
Analysis provided by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Updated: June 13, 2012
2011 Southern Winnebago County LIFE Study