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State's unemployment rate falls but job losses continue

Wisconsin's unemployment rate went down last month, while the state lost another 1,900 private sector jobs.

State officials said the jobless rate for December was 7.5 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis. That's down one-tenth-of-a-point from November, and a full point less than a year ago. But a separate survey revealed the third monthly reduction in private sector jobs in the last four months. Wisconsin still has 153,000 fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in December of 2007.

State Workforce Development Secretary Manny Perez says the new figures demonstrate the need for what he called "aggressive policies" to help grow the economy and create jobs. When government jobs are added in, the total number of non-farm jobs in Wisconsin fell by 1,200 in December. Manufacturing, the state's largest employment sector, cut about 2,400 jobs during the month. But for 2010 as a whole, state factories added over 13,000 jobs.