Unemployment Rate

Definition
The percentage of labor force participants who are currently not employed and are actively seeking work in the past four weeks.

Why it matters
The unemployment rate is one of the clearest indicators of which way the economy is moving and allows for easy regional and national comparisons. Rising unemployment rate is seen as a sign of a weak economy, with slow growth and little spending. On the other hand if employment is rising it is indicative of a growing economy.

Performance
Racine County's unemployment rate was comparatively lower than the national unemployment rate before 1998. Racine County’s unemployment rate has consistently exceeded the national and states unemployment rate since 1998. In 2015, the county's rate was 5.7%, 0.4 percentage points higher than national average rate  and 1.1 percentage points higher than the states rate. During the great recession the county's rate peaked at 10.1%.

Benchmark
This indicator notes the recession periods and offers state and national benchmark data to place Racine County’s performance in context.

Data Source
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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