On November 21st, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary October 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 2.4%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate for September was also 2.4% and August’s final rate was 2.9%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.5%.
DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for October declined or remained the same in 64 of the 72 counties when compared to October 2017, with 21 counties setting or tying all-time low unemployment rates for the month. The rates ranged from 1.9% in Lafayette County to 4.4% in Menominee.
The October 2018 preliminary unemployment rates declined or stayed the same in 31 of Wisconsin’s 32 largest municipalities when compared to October 2017. Fifteen of the 32 largest municipalities set or tied their lowest October unemployment rate on record. Rates ranged from 2.0% in Fitchburg to 3.9% in Racine.
The five counties with the lowest unemployment rate in October include Lafayette (1.9%), Dane (2.1%), Iowa (also at 2.1%), Calumet (2.2%), and Clark (also at 2.2%). Menominee County had the highest rate in October at 4.4%, followed by Iron (4.2%), Forest (3.6%), Adams (3.5%), and Burnett (3.4%).
St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, October’s preliminary rate in Dunn was estimated at 2.3%, followed by Pierce at 2.6% and Polk at 2.7%.
St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The October 2018 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.1% which is lower than September’s final rate of 2.2% and August’s final rate of 2.5%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 2.4% in October 2017.
For the ninth consecutive month, the preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin was at or below 3.0%. For October, the rate was estimated at 3.0%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.2%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in October was estimated at 2.8%, which is the same as September’s final rate and lower than August’s final rate of 2.9%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.3%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for October was estimated at 3.7%, which is the same as September’s final rate and lower than August’s final rate of 3.9%. One year ago the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.1%.
Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for October 2018 was estimated at 68.4%, which is lower than September’s final rate of 68.6% and August’s final rate of 68.8%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.8%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in October was estimated at 62.9%, which is higher than the final rate of 62.7% for both September and August. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.7%.
October’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.
County Unemployment Rate Rank Rate One Year Ago
Barron 2.5% 33 of 72 2.6%
Chippewa 2.5% 33 of 72 2.6%
Clark 2.2% 4 of 72 2.3%
Dunn 2.3% 14 of 72 2.4%
Eau Claire 2.3% 14 of 72 2.4%
Pepin 2.3% 14 of 72 2.6%
Pierce 2.6% 40 of 72 2.5%
Polk 2.7% 45 of 72 2.6%
Rusk 3.0% 57 of 72 3.3%
St. Croix 2.4% 24 of 72 2.5%
Twin Cities Metro 2.1% — 2.4%
State of Wisconsin 3.0%* — 3.2%*
State of Minnesota 2.8%* — 3.3%*
United States 3.7%* — 4.1%*
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)