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27,000 jobs lost in state last year

Wisconsin employers cut 27,000 jobs in the year ending in October. That's the biggest annual decline in six years.

State officials said the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent last month, unchanged since September, but up 0.2 from a year ago.

Wisconsin's rate is well below the national unadjusted figure of 6.1 percent. But it's still the highest for an October since 2003.

Only those actively looking for jobs are listed as unemployed.

The state also said Wednesday that initial claims for jobless benefits were running more than 12 percent ahead of last year through 46 weeks.

Over the last seven weeks, new unemployment claims were 40 percent higher than the same period in 2007.

State analyst Dennis Winters says the worldwide economic slowdown has hurt Wisconsin's exporting prospects for manufactured goods.

Manufacturing accounts for about one of every six non-farm jobs in the Badger State.