St. Croix County: December unemployment rate at 2.8%

On January 23rd, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary December 2018 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 2.8%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate for November was 2.6% and October’s final rate was 2.4%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.8%.


DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for December declined or remained the same in 52 of the 72 counties when compared to December 2017. The rates ranged from 1.9% in County to 5.4% in Bayfield. 


The December 2018 preliminary unemployment rates declined or stayed the same in 26 of Wisconsin’s 32 largest municipalities. Nine cities tied or set a record for their lowest unemployment rate ever reported. Rates ranged from 1.9% in Fitchburg, Madison, and Sun Prairie to 3.8% in Racine.


The five counties with the lowest unemployment rate in December include Dane (1.9%), Lafayette (2.0%), Calumet (2.1%), Green (also at 2.1%), and Ozaukee. Bayfield County had the highest rate in December at 5.4%, followed by Iron (5.2%), Adams (also at 5.2%), Burnett (4.8%), and Forest (4.5%).


St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, December’s preliminary rate in Dunn was estimated at 2.9%, followed by Pierce also at 2.9% and Polk at 3.9%.


St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The December 2018 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.8% which is higher than November’s final rate of 2.0% and October’s final rate of 2.1%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 2.9% in December 2017.


For the eleventh consecutive month, the preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin was at or below 3.0%. For December, the rate was estimated at 3.0%, which is the same as the final rates for both November and October. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.2%.


The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in December was estimated at 2.8%, which is the same as the final rate for both November and October. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.3%.


The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for December was estimated at 3.9%, which is higher than the final rate of 3.7% for both November and October. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.1%.


Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for December was estimated at 68.0% which is lower than November’s final rate of 68.2% and October’s final rate 2018 of 68.4%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.9%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in December was estimated at 63.1%, which is higher than the final rates of 62.9% for both November and October. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.7%. 


December’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.


December 2018                                                         

County                       Unemployment Rate             Rank                           Rate One Year Ago

Barron                         3.4%                                        46 of 72                       3.3%

Chippewa                    3.5%                                        53 of 72                       3.4%

Clark                           2.8%                                        31 of 72                       2.7%

Dunn                           2.9%                                        34 of 72                       2.7%

Eau Claire                   2.4%                                        17 of 72                       2.4%

Pepin                           3.6%                                        57 of 72                       3.4%

Pierce                          2.9%                                        34 of 72                       2.8%

Polk                             3.9%                                        49 of 72                       3.7%

Rusk                            4.0%                                        64 of 72                       4.1%

St. Croix                      2.8%                                        31 of 72                       2.8%


Twin Cities Metro       2.8%                                        ---                                2.9%

State of Wisconsin      3.0%*                                      ---                                3.2%* 

State of Minnesota      2.8%*                                      ---                                3.3%*

United States              3.7%*                                      ---                                4.1%*


*Seasonally adjusted


Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development; and St. Croix Economic Development Corp.



The 10 counties of west central and northwest Wisconsin comprise Momentum West, an external marketing and economic development organization;


The Twin Cities Metro Area is comprised of 16 counties (14 in Minnesota plus St. Croix and Pierce in Wisconsin)

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