Region's unemployment picture shows modest improvementNew August unemployment rates released by the State of Wisconsin indicate St. Croix County is the eighth lowest at 5.8 percent among 72 counties.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Scott Baumbach announced the preliminary August unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties on Wednesday.
St. Croix’s rate was estimated at 5.8 percent, down from the July rate of 6.3 percent and June’s rate of 6.5 percent. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 6.4 percent.
DWD said 68 of the state’s 72 counties had lower unemployment rates or in August compared to July, and two counties reported no change. Baumbach reminded job seekers of the online openings at www.JobCenterWisconsin.com and said, “With a national economic slowdown that is creating challenges for Wisconsin, we remain keenly focused on advancing job creation strategies that will grow the economy.”
Only seven counties had unemployment rates lower than St. Croix in August. Dane County recorded the lowest rate at 5.1 percent (down from 5.4 percent in July), followed by Iowa at 5.2 percent (down from 5.5 percent in July), Buffalo at 5.7 percent (down from 6.0 percent), and Pepin also at 5.7 percent (down from 6.0 percent). Menominee County had the highest rate in August at 21.9 percent (up from 20.2 percent), followed Rusk at 10.0 percent, Lincoln at 9.5 percent, and Kenosha at 9.3 percent.
“The unemployment rate in St. Croix County declined one-half of a percent from July to August,” said William Rubin, executive director of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation. “It is now under six percent at 5.8 percent. The months ahead will confirm if a corner has been turned on the local economy.”
Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley is comprised of Polk, St. Croix, and Pierce counties. August’s unemployment rate for Pierce was 5.9 percent (down from 6.5 percent in July). Polk County’s rate was at 7.8 percent (down from 8.5 percent in July). The 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area reported an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent in August compared to 7.5 percent in July and 6.9 percent in June.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in August was estimated at 7.9 percent which is up from July’s rate of 7.8 percent and June’s rate of 7.6 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 8.2 percent one year ago.
The preliminary unemployment rate in the U.S. in August was estimated at 9.1 percent, which is the same rate as July, and down slightly from June’s rate of 9.2 percent. One year ago the U.S. rate was estimated at 9.6 percent.
August’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.
Note: 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 13 counties (11 in Minnesota and St. Croix and Pierce in Wisconsin)