Submitted by Nita Dusek, St. Croix EDC

HUDSON, WI – On April 24, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary March 2019 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 33 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 3.6%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate in February was 3.9% and January’s final rate was 4.0%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.7%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for March declined or remained the same in 62 of the 72 counties when compared to March 2018. The rates ranged from 2.3% in Dane County to 6.9% in Bayfield and Iron. 

The March 2019 preliminary unemployment rates declined year-over-year in 32 of Wisconsin’s 33 largest municipalities. Rates ranged from 2.2% in Fitchburg to 4.9% in Racine.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rate in March include Dane (2.3%), Sheboygan (2.6%) Calumet (also at 2.6%), followed by Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago (all at 2.7%). Bayfield and Iron Counties had the highest rate in March at 6.9%, followed by Burnett (6.5%), Adams (5.9%), and Rusk and Forest (both at 5.7%).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 3.6%, March’s preliminary rate in Dunn was also estimated at 3.6%, followed by Pierce also at 3.7% and Polk at 5.0%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The March 2019 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 3.6% which is higher than February’s final rate of 3.4% and January’s final rate of 3.6%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.3% in March 2018.

For the fourteenth consecutive month, the preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin was at or below 3.0%. For March, the rate was estimated at 2.9%, which is the same as February’s final rate but lower than January’s final rate of 3.0%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in March was estimated at 3.2%, which is higher than February’s final rate of 3.1% and January’s final rate of 3.0%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for March was estimated at 3.8% which is the same as February’s final rate but lower than January’s final rate of 4.0%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.1%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for March was estimated at 67.5%, which is the same as the final rates for both February and January. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.2%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in March was estimated at 63.0%, which is lower than the final of 63.2 % for both February and January. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.9%. 

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

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

Notes:  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).