Dec 27, 2012 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The four-county metro Milwaukee area gained 5,200 jobs in November, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by the state Department of Workforce Development.
Of the state's 12 major metro areas, eight showed job gains and four showed losses. The metro area includes Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.
The metro-area unemployment estimates have wide margins of error, and the department calls the report "volatile and subject to significant revisions."
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the metro region surged in November to an estimated 6.8% from 6.3% in October and 7.1% in November one year earlier.
All 12 of the state's metro areas showed sharp increases in the unemployment rate. That's because the department reports the unemployment rate without making so-called seasonal adjustments that strip out fluctuations caused by the onset of cold weather.
At the city and county levels, local jobless reports rely on such sparse sample sizes that the government cannot even survey businesses and households in every county in the nation where it tries to measure employment. Statisticians at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which collects the state and local numbers, say they routinely compensate for lack of real data using mathematical models to prorate statewide trends into individual communities. That means many of the figures are based on computer generated guesses and not actual hiring and firing trends.
In a separate report last week, the agency said Wisconsin gained an estimated 10,600 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The federal government uses local jobs data to determine cities' and states' eligibility for a share of the $61 billion in retraining aid and employment programs distributed yearly.
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