Morning State News Roundup: Eau Claire, La Crosse area lost jobs in DecemberWisconsin News
-- State officials released preliminary job data yesterday – and nine of the state’s 12 metros either lost jobs or had steady employment from November.
Metro Milwaukee lost an estimated 27-hundred jobs in December. State officials released preliminary job data yesterday – and nine of the state’s 12 metros either lost jobs or had steady employment from November.
The report said Eau Claire lost 1,300 jobs, Wausau 700, and Oshkosh-Neenah 500. Green Bay, Fond du Lac, Janesville, and Madison lost 500 jobs or fewer. Sheboygan’s total employment was unchanged. The Appleton area gained an estimated one-thousand jobs, while Racine and La Crosse each added 200. Jobless rates went up from November in all 12 metros. They ranged from four-point-six percent in Madison to eight-point-three in Racine. Milwaukee’s rate went up two-tenths of a point to seven-percent. All but two of Wisconsin’s 72 counties saw their actual unadjusted jobless rates go up in December. Menominee County’s rate fell by one-point-seven percent, and Kenosha by two-tenths. The local job numbers are based on surveys of only a small percentage of employers.
Wisconsin dairy cows were extremely busy during the holidays, as the state’s milk production rose by a sizable five-and-a-half percent compared to a year ago. Officials said the Badger State made just over two-and-a-third billion pounds of milk in December while California – the nation’s leading milk producer – had a 2.3 percent drop to three-point-four billion pounds. Wisconsin’s increase was almost three-and-a-half times the national jump of one-point-six percent. U.S. dairy farms made almost 17 billion pounds of milk last month. All but just over a billion pounds were produced in the 23 major dairy states, where production rose one-point-seven percent from a year ago. Wisconsin, the nation’s Number-two milk state, add five-thousand cows to a herd that now totals just over one-and-a-quarter million. Production per cow rose by 90 pounds, to 1,845. Meanwhile, California state officials have granted a temporary payment price for that state’s milk from February through May. Golden State producers have been calling for a higher pay price, after feed prices began to skyrocket last summer.
The Wisconsin Towns Association wants a moratorium on wind energy farms. The group voted this week to ask the state not to approve any more wind turbines, until further health studies are done. A recent study by Clean Wisconsin and four independent groups found that residents of a home south of Green Bay suffered nausea, after a nearby wind farm produced barely-audible sounds from its turbines. The groups suggested more health studies. And the Towns Association says those studies should be done, and solutions should be found. The group also says the state’s wind-energy siting rule needs to be modified accordingly. The state Public Service Commission says the towns’ request will be considered along with other evidence, when the panel acts by the end of February on a proposed 41-turbine wind farm in Saint Croix County in far western Wisconsin.
UW-Madison researchers are asking Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to take part in a study that could help soldiers adjust to the home-front. Veterans are known to get post-traumatic stress disorder after they come home, but UW scientists say that not all veterans respond to conventional treatments. The study seeks to come up with new strategies for treating the post-traumatic disorder – and one of the possible options is meditation, along with breathing exercises, gentle stretching, and group discussions of what troops went through. The UW says it’s looking for effective programs that veterans can try on their own which are economical and free of side effects. UW-Madison says it’s willing to pay participants up to $380 plus travel reimbursements for their time. If you’re interested, here’s a phone number to call – 1-608-263-0803.