? Unemployment increased in eight of Wisconsin's 12 largest metropolitan areas in December, according to new data from the Department of Workforce Development. The Milwaukee area was hardest hit, with 2,700 jobs lost. Marathon County lost 700 jobs and unemployment increased to 6.5 percent from 6.2 percent in November.
? The information technology firm Collaborative Consulting has hired about 70 people since it opened in Wausau in 2012, and is on pace to have 200 employees by the end of 2014, the company said.
? Lifenet will close its Eau Claire office, leaving 120 employees without work, the company notified the state. The home care firm also has offices in Schofield and Medford.
? Grant funding awarded to the city of Fond du Lac will support a project that adds 70 new jobs at McNeilus Steel. The $600,000 grant will support rail improvements and construction at the firm's new and existing facilities. McNeilus Steel is in the midst of building a new, $20 million warehouse.
? Ashley Furniture will hire 60 people at a new plant in Verona.
? The Madison-based builder RMT will cut 30 jobs in Wisconsin, according to the company.
Sources: Gannett Wisconsin Media, wire reports