December 2017 Unemployment Rate

Trending News

St. Croix County’s December Unemployment Rate at 2.7%

On January 24th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary December 2017 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 2.7%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate for both November and October was 2.5%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.7%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for December decreased in all 72 counties when compared to December 2016. Forty-eight (48) of the 72 counties tied or reached their lowest December unemployment rates on current record. Seven (7) counties reached record lows for any month on current record. December’s rates ranged from 1.9% in Dane and Lafayette counties to 5.6% in Iron.

The December 2017 preliminary unemployment rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents when compared to December 2016. Eighteen (18) of the 32 largest municipalities reached or tied their lowest December unemployment rates on current record and 15 reached record lows for any month on current record. December’s rates ranged from 1.8% in Fitchburg and Madison to 3.8% in Racine.

Dane and Lafayette counties had the lowest rate in December at 1.9% followed by Green (2.1%), Ozaukee (also at 2.1%), and Calumet (2.2%). Iron County had the highest rate in December at 5.6%, followed by Bayfield (5.2 %), Adams (5.1%), Forest (4.6%), and Florence (also at 4.6%).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, December’s preliminary rate in both Dunn and Pierce was estimated at 2.7% followed by 3.6% in Polk. The current rates in all four counties are lower than the rates for December 2016.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The December 2017 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.9%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.4% for both November and October. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.6% in December 2016.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in December was estimated at 3.0%, which is lower than November’s final rate of 3.2% and October’s final rate of 3.4%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.1%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in December 2017 was estimated at 3.1%, which is lower than November’s final rate of 3.2% and October’s final rate of 3.4%. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 4.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for December was estimated at 4.1%, which is the same as the final rates for November and October. One year ago the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.7%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for December 2017 was estimated at 68.9%, which is the same as the final rate for November but higher than October’s final rate of 68.8%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.4%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in December was estimated at 62.7%, which is the same as the final rates for November and October. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.7%.

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

December 2017 Unemployment Table
December 2017 Unemployment Comparison
December 2017 Participation Rate

Population Gains. And Pains



Population Gains. And Pains.


Last fall, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) finalized population estimates for local units of government, as of January 1, 2017. The DOA says St. Croix County grew by 4.13 percent since the 2010 Census and added 3,483 new residents. St. Croix’s year-old population is estimated at 87,828 making the numeric gain since 2010 roughly equivalent to the 3,300 people residing in the Village of Ellsworth.

Nearby Eau Claire County added 3,604 people to its latest population estimate of 102,340 meaning it grew 3.65 percent since 2010. Dane County, with its own self-promoted gravitational field, added 36,714 people over seven years, bringing its population above half a million to 524,787. For comparison, Clark County, between Eau Claire and Marshfield, has a total population of 34,748 residents (Fake News: Dane Gobbles Up Clark).

Twenty of the state’s 72 counties reportedly lost population since 2010, led by Milwaukee County’s decline of 2,319 residents. Taylor County eked out a gain of three new residents.

Even with St. Croix’s growth, the DOA says the villages of Baldwin (-7), Deer Park (-2), Hammond (-50), North Hudson (-4), Star Prairie (-5), and Woodville (-18) lost population since the last Census. The city of Glenwood City lost 24 residents. Hudson’s gain was 1,025 residents, or +8.06 percent, while New Richmond added 534 (+5.4% gain), and River Falls added 417 (in St. Croix and Pierce counties). Outside the Hudson city limits, 206 residents were added in the Town of Hudson (+2.43% increase), plus 539 in Troy (+11.46%), and 135 in St. Joe (+3.51%).

Wisconsin’s 2017 population estimate is 5.783 million. It grew by 1.69 percent since 2010 and added 96,292 new residents.

The process restarts in August when DOA announces new estimates for January 1, 2018. In a couple of years, the feds are in charge during the 2020 Census.

Up or down, change is constant.

Top Businesses and Individual for 2017 Named

Trending News

St. Croix EDC Names Top Businesses and Individual for 2017

Rob O’Keefe, president of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC), announced the EDC’s selection of Ciro, LLC (City of Hudson), SKYCOAT LLC (Village of Baldwin), and Aladtec, Inc. (City of River Falls) as recipients of the 2017 Business of the Year awards in St. Croix County, Wisconsin.

The EDC board of directors also named Dennis (Denny) Darnold as the recipient of the 2017 EDC Directors Award.

The companies and Mr. Darnold will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Kilkarney Hills in River Falls.

“The 2017 winners demonstrate unique attributes of St. Croix County businesses,” said EDC President Rob O’Keefe. “Ciro burst onto the motorcycle accessory scene at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. SKYCOAT made a big leap to permanent bricks and mortar in 2017, allowing the industrial coating business to grow. Aladtec is a go-to software scheduling company for public safety agencies throughout North America. Denny Darnold left his fingerprints on many, many projects in Hudson during his thirty plus years in community development, planning, and economic development.”

About the 2017 Winners
Ciro, LLC is the 2017 Emerging Business of the Year (based in St. Croix County and in business for five or fewer years). Ciro is a product design company founded in 2014 by Aero Rudd and a team of skilled designers. The company specializes in creating innovative and unique designs of aftermarket accessories for power sports enthusiasts. The company is well-regarded for its motorcycle accessories, especially the Harley-Davidson models. Ciro offers 200 elite products and the list continues to grow. The accessories add to rider comfort, style, and performance. Product examples include LED lighting, cams, exhaust, holders, and air intake. They are available online, through dealers, and major motorcycle events like Daytona Bike Week or the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Learn more at

SKYCOAT is 2017 Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees). SKY COAT was founded in 2012 by Patrick Traynor. The company provides industrial coating and finishing services to customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Midwest region. SKYCOAT uses the term ‘Industrial Armor’ to describe the durability of its processes. Industrial services offered by SKYCOAT include powder coating, E-coating, liquid painting, conversion painting, pad printing, and surface preparation, such as masking and media blasting. In 2017 SKYCOAT successfully transitioned from leased space in River Falls to a permanent facility in the Baldwin Industrial Park (Baldwin, Wisconsin) totaling almost 50,000 square feet. SKYCOAT is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Learn more at

Aladtec, Inc. is the 2017 Business of the Year (30 or more employees). The company provides a subscription-based online employee scheduling and workforce management software system, also named Aladtec, to the public safety sector (EMS, fire, law enforcement, and dispatch). Users find internet software scheduling reduces human error, improves efficiencies, saves time, and saves money. Aladtec’s software system is now a powerful tool used by public safety agencies across North America. It was created in 2002 when business partners Leo Langlois and Dave Feyereisen were asked by an ambulance company in Ellsworth, Wisconsin to improve their employee scheduling process by moving it online. Both Langlois and Feyereisen, who were experienced builders of custom e-commerce websites, accepted the assignment. Within a few months, the system was active and received the name EMS Manager. Other public safety agencies soon asked for similar solutions. Between 2002 and 2005, Langlois and Feyereisen talked to literally hundreds of EMS directors. Almost every agency seemed to have a different employee scheduling process. Periodic changes were made and new customers were added. Langlois and Feyereisen continued developing the system and it grew to become a robust online software product supporting the complex 24/7 employee scheduling shift requirements found in public safety departments. In 2005, the online scheduling system was spun off into a new company called Aladtec, Incorporated. Since then, many new features have been added along with many thousand lines of new programming code. In mid-August 2017, Aladtec was ranked on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation for the third year in a row. The company moved up 20 spots in 2017 to #2897. Only one in five businesses which appear on Inc.’s list achieve being on it three consecutive times. In early December 2017, Aladtec announced it surpassed 2,000 customers. Learn more at

About Denny Darnold
Denny Darnold retired in mid-2017 from a long, successful career in planning and community development, primarily with the City of Hudson, Wisconsin in the capacity of community development director. His legacy includes a vibrant central business district, riverfront area, residential subdivisions, hospitality, and the St. Croix Business Park. The multi-use business park is home to many companies, large and small. Those businesses are from the Hudson area or were recruited from other areas. The city gained an expanded tax base and an array of jobs for area residents. Darnold was a tireless worker with the mayor’s office, common council, boards and commissions, chamber of commerce, and other local organizations.

Banquet Details
This is the 24th business awards program conducted by St. Croix EDC. The banquet is open to the public but reservations are required. Dinner tickets are priced at $38.00. Visit to RSVP or for more info.

About St. Croix EDC
The EDC was established in 1994 as a public-private business league that operates as the independent economic development arm of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communication, business retention, business expansion, business recruitment, new business incorporations, and advocacy on behalf of business and industry. Initiatives taken by St. Croix EDC help improve the business climate of St. Croix County, allowing businesses, large and small, to grow and prosper.

For more information, contact William Rubin or Nita Dusek at (715) 381-4383, or

New Year’s Resolution: Better Nutrition


New Year’s Resolution: Better Nutrition


A New Year is filled with well-intended resolutions. Health clubs are packed with new members, but by February or March, many give up, falling to what a misguided economist may call the Law of Diminishing Resolution.

The LinkedIn website yielded another kernel of truth, this time with a posting entitled Success Nutrition Facts. The recommended serving size is 24-hours a day. Each container includes 365 servings. On the label, a hungry overachiever will find:

Hustle 100%
Focus 100%
Persistence 100%
Discipline 100%
Failure 100%
Risks 100%
Patience 100%
(Percentage Daily Values are based on High Levels of Ambition)

Move over Tony the Tiger. Resolutions for 2018 are hereby amended to include better nutrition.

May you find success in 2018.