Barring a drastic change in December's figures, it looks as though the area will finish the year with its lowest unemployment figure since 2008, said Bob Borremans, CEO of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
"Conditions are getting better.
I'm pretty optimistic that things will continue to get better going into 2013," Borremans
That doesn't mean things have returned to pre-recession levels, Borremans
One cautionary statistic is the number of people with jobs.
In Janesville in November 2008, 30,658 people were employed, and the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, Borremans
sees more people returning to the workforce and employment increases in certain sectors, including health care and manufacturing.
"Those are all very, very positive signs that things are beginning to turn around and beginning to improve, and I see nothing that would change that," Borremans
A possible exception, he
said, is the looming fiscal cliff.
In fact, Borremans
said, dislocated workers who use the Rock County Job Center
and returned to work between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, are making an average $16,786 more per year than they did when they were laid off.
said that figure amazed him, but he
said it comes from the state Department of Workforce Development, based on wage records reported to the federal unemployment benefits system.
People's confidence that they will continue to be employed might also be improving.
said 94 percent of dislocated workers who got jobs this past year continue to work at those jobs.