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Pierce County has third-lowest unemployment rate in state

At 3.8 percent, the Pierce County unemployment rate for August was the third-lowest in the state, according to figures released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Buffalo County had the lowest rate in the state at 3.3 percent. Both Dane and Lafayette counties had a 3.5 percent rate to tie for the second-lowest in Wisconsin.

Pierce County wasn't the only county in the region to enjoy a low unemployment rate.

St. Croix County had a rate of 4 percent - no change from July.

Meanwhile Pepin County had an August rate of 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent the previous month.

The unemployment rate in Polk County dropped 0.2 of a percent from July's rate of 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent.

Further east in Dunn County the August rate was at 3.8 percent, down just 0.1 of a percent.

In Eau Claire County the rate was at 4 percent for August and Chippewa County was at 4.3 percent.

The combined average for the seven county region of far-western Wisconsin was 4.01 percent, slightly better than the 4.7 statewide unemployment rate and much better than the 6.1 percent national rate.

"Despite the economic difficulties nationally, Wisconsin is doing relatively well overall," said Roberta Gassman, DWD secretary.

According to DWD, unemployment dropped in 35 of 72 counties, but increased in 19 and remained the same in 18.

DWD figures show that in the state, 500 non-farm jobs were lost from July to August. However, a total of 900 private-sector jobs were added, led by the professional and business services sector which added 600 jobs.

The largest drop in jobs came in the government sector which lost 1,400, with most coming from local governments.