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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Experts offer responses to increase in unemployment

Wisconsin unemployment rates climbed in October, leaving UW-Madison students and labor analysts uncertain about the outlook in December when hundreds of seniors graduate. 




The state's unemployment rate for October increased to 3.9 percent from September's 3.4 percent figure, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. 




UW-Madison senior Sanderson Roberts, a geography and anthropology major who will graduate in two months, said that while he was recently offered a permanent position at his current job, he knows of others who are struggling. 




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\From what I've heard, it's definitely more difficult to get jobs,"" Roberts said. ""My girlfriend has applied to numerous places and they're just not hiring."" 




DWD spokesperson Chris Marschman said the unemployment figure in Wisconsin has not increased as dramatically at the state level as on the national scale. 




""Compared to the national rate [increase] of 1.2 percent, 0.5 percent is really not that large,"" Marschman said.  




Nationwide, U.S. employers laid off more workers in October than at any time in the last 21 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month. 




UW-Madison economics Professor Glen Cain, who studies social effects on labor and the economy, said that he expects the Wisconsin unemployment rise to be harmful, but is unsure of the effect it will have on upcoming UW-Madison graduates. 




""If we just take it at face value, a rise of 0.5 percent in the state's unemployment rate is a sign of some weakening of the economy. Almost by definition, that can't be helpful,"" Cain said. ""On the other hand, Wisconsin grads are a specialized group of potential workers; the market is pretty specialized for the 21- to 25-year-old age group. We don't have much information about the unemployment condition for that segment of the labor market."" 




In a statement, DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert said Sept. 11 had less of an effect on employment in Wisconsin than she expected. 




""Wisconsin's unemployment rate increase for October, after three straight months of decline, indicates that while the state is being impacted by the attacks of Sept. 11, the detrimental effects on the economy are less severe than what many had expected,"" she said. 




Marschman said it's difficult to tell whether unemployment will continue to increase over the coming months. 




""Sept. 11 did have some effect,"" Marschman said. ""We've never been in this situation before, so we don't know how things are going to turn out.\

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