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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Regional unemployment rates for December creep up from fall but still down from 2015


MADISON - On Jan. 25, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary December 2016 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents.

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 3.7%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate in November was 3.4% and October’s final rate was estimated at 3.2%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%.

In addition to St. Croix referenced above, Dunn County’s preliminary rate for December was estimated at 3.8%. Pierce’s rate in December was estimated at 4.1% and Polk’s rate was 5.0%. The current rates in all four counties are lower or remained the same compared to December 2015.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The December 2016 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 3.6%, which is higher than November’s final rate of 3.0% and October’s final rate of 3.1%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.2% in December 2015.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in December was estimated at 4.0%, which is the lower than the final rate of 4.1% for both November and October. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.6%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in December 2016 was estimated at 3.9%, which is higher than November’s final rate of 3.8%, but lower October’s final rate of 4.0%. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 3.7%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for December decreased or remained the same in 71 of 72 counties when compared to December 2015. The current rates ranged from 2.6% in Dane County to 7.5% in Bayfield. Dane County had the lowest rate in December at 2.6% followed by Lafayette (2.8%), Calumet (2.9%), Green (also at 2.9%), and Fond du Lac (3.0%). Bayfield County had the highest rate in December at 7.5%, followed by Iron (7.4%), Menominee (7.0%), Florence (6.6%), and Burnett (6.3%).
 
The December 2016 preliminary unemployment rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents when compared to December 2015. The December 2016 rates ranged from 2.5% in Fitchburg, Madison, and Sun Prairie to 5.4% in Racine.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for December was estimated at 4.7%, which is higher than the final rate of 4.6% for November, but lower than October’s final rate of 4.9%. One year ago the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 5.0%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for December 2016 was estimated at 68.3%, which is lower than the final rate of 68.4% both November and October. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.1%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in December was estimated at 62.7%, which is the same as November’s final rate, but lower than October’s final rate of 62.8%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.7%. 

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