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Wis. economic forecast says recovery has slowed

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MADISON (AP) — The latest economic outlook from the Wisconsin Revenue Department says the economy continues to recover but the pace has slowed in recent months.

The forecast released Wednesday, June 20th says employment in the state is projected to increase 1 percent in 2012 and 1.7 percent in 2013.

The state is projected to return to its peak 2008 employment levels of 2.9 million by early 2015. Nationally, all the jobs lost during the recession are projected to be filled by the third quarter of 2014.

The report says Wisconsin’s unemployment rate should be 6.5 percent this year and drop to 6.1 percent in 2013. It’s projected to drop to 4.7 percent by 2015.

Additionally, unemployment rates crept up in most major Wisconsin cities last month, while most counties saw unemployment drop.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released the latest local unemployment figures for May on Wednesday, June 20th.

The report shows that 11 cities saw rates drop or have no change between April and May while 21 saw an increase. However, none of those rose more than roughly one half of a percentage point.

Of the state’s 72 counties, unemployment rates increased in 36, stayed the same in six and went up in 30.

Beloit had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent followed by Racine at 11.2 percent. Milwaukee’s was third highest at 10.2 percent.

Statewide unemployment for the month was 6.8 percent.

Wisconsin personal income is projected to grow 2.9 percent in 2012 and 4.1 percent in 2013.