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La Crosse has lowest jobless rate among Wisconsin metro areas

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Bob Good

As COVID-19 was shutting down many businesses a year ago, 1 out of every 8 people in the La Crosse area was out of work — a jobless rate of nearly 13%. 

Now, unemployment in the La Crosse-Onalaska metro region is the lowest among Wisconsin’s biggest urban areas (3.2%), according to the latest figures from the state Department of Workforce Development. 

The La Crosse rate is slightly lower than Madison and Wausau. 

That means 8,000 more people in the La Crosse area are working now, compared to April of 2020, with current regional employment at 75,600.  

Most counties surrounding La Crosse have unemployment rates of 6% or lower.  A year ago, unemployment was up to 27% in some northern counties.  

La Crosse County is among the 10 counties in Wisconsin with the lowest unemployment rates for April, in a three-way tie for fifth place with Dane and Green Counties at 3.2%.  That’s down from 3.8% in March. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.