MADISON - On June 20th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary May 2018 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents.
DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for May declined or stayed the same in 70 of the 72 counties when compared to May 2017. Fifty (50) of the state’s 72 counties experienced or tied their lowest May unemployment rate on record in 2018. The rates ranged from 1.8% in Lafayette County to 6.1% in Menominee.
The May 2018 preliminary unemployment rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents when compared to May 2017. Twenty (20) of the 32 largest municipalities experienced their lowest May unemployment rate on record in 2018. Rates ranged from 1.9% in Fitchburg to 4.0% in Racine.
The five counties with the lowest unemployment rate in May include Lafayette (1.8%), followed by Dane (2.0), Green (2.1%), Iowa (also at 2.1%) and Calumet (2.2%). Menominee County had the highest rate in May at 6.1%, followed by Iron (5.0%), Forest (4.4%), Bayfield (3.9%), and Ashland (also at 3.9%).
St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 2.4%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate for April was 2.8% and March’s final rate was 3.3%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.8%.
St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, May’s preliminary rate in Dunn was estimated at 2.5%, Pierce at 2.6%, and 2.7% for Polk. The current rates are lower than the rates for May 2017.
St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The May 2018 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.3% which is lower than April’s final rate of 2.7% and March’s final rate of 3.3%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.2% in May 2017.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in May was estimated at 2.8%, which is the same as the final rate for April, but lower than the final rate of 2.9% for March. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.3%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in May was estimated at 3.1%, which is lower than the final rates of 3.2% for both April and March. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 3.5%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for May was estimated at 3.8% which is lower than April’s final rate of 3.9% and February’s final rate of 4.1%. One year ago the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.3%.
Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for May 2018 was estimated at 68.9%, which is higher than April’s final rate of 68.7% and March’s final rate of 68.6%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.6%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in May was estimated at 62.7% , which is lower than April’s final rate of 62.8% and March’s final rate of 62.9%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.7%.
May’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.