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Wisconsin unemployment hits record low of 2.8%

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.8% in December, after tying the previous low of 3% in November, the state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The state rate is below the national unemployment rate of 3.9% for December. Wisconsin gained 5,300 private sector jobs in December. The number of people counted as unemployed in Wisconsin, 86,200, also hit a record low, the department reported.

Hitting a new unemployment rate low comes amid a worker shortage both in the state and nationwide. Republicans who control the state Legislature this week unveiled a package of bills that would cut unemployment and other benefits as part of a strategy to get more people into the workforce.

Gov. Tony Evers has also devoted federal pandemic relief money toward the worker shortage problem, including $130 million for job training programs and local efforts to develop long-term solutions to the labor shortage and $60 million for workforce development grants.

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