November 2021 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s November Unemployment Rate at 1.6%

On December 22nd, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary November 2021 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 34 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s November rate was estimated at 1.6%, which is lower than October’s final rate of 1.9% and September’s final rate of 2.3%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 4.0%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates declined from October to November in all 72 counties and declined in all counties year-over-year. Sixty-one counties experienced record low unemployment for the month. The rates ranged from 1.2% in Lafayette to 4.1% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates declined from October to November in all of Wisconsin’s 34 largest cities and declined in all of the largest cities year-over-year. Rates ranged from 1.4% in Madison to 3.3% in Milwaukee.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in November include Lafayette (1.2%), Calumet (1.4%), Dane (also at 1.4%), Green (also at 1.4%), and Kewaunee (also at 1.4%). Menominee County had the highest rate in November at 4.1%, followed by Forest (3.2%), Iron (3.1%), Bayfield (3.0%), and Adams (also at 3.0%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 1.6%, November’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 1.7% and Polk’s rate was 2.0%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The November 2021 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.2%, which is lower than October’s final rate of 2.6% and September’s final rate of 2.9%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 4.0% in November 2020.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in November was estimated at 3.0%, which is lower than October’s final rate of 3.2% and September’s final rate of 3.4%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in November was estimated at 3.3%, which is lower than the final rate of 3.5% for October and September’s final rate of 3.7%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 5.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for November was estimated at 4.2%, which is less than the final rate of 4.6% for October and September’s final rate of 4.8%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 6.7%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for November was estimated at 66.4%, which is the same as the final rate in October but lower than September’s final rate of 66.5% for September. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 65.5%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in November was estimated at 61.8%, which is higher than the final rate of 61.6% for October and September. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was also 61.5%.

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

Tourism Department Awards Grant

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Tourism Department Awards Grant for World Fat Bike World Championships

New Richmond, Wisconsin Will Host World Championships January 28-30

Photo: Julie Fox (left of center) presents APEX Cycling with a Joint Effort Marketing grant to assist with hosting the 2022 Fat Bike World Championships in New Richmond, Wisc. in late January

On December 16th, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (Tourism) presented a $10,150 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant to Apex Cycling, Inc. to assist with hosting the 2022 Fat Bike World Championships, scheduled for January 28-30 at the New Richmond Golf Course (New Richmond, Wisc.).

The original World Championships originated in Crested Butte, Colorado and the seventh annual event moves to New Richmond in 2022.

The 2022 World Championships is hosted by the Big Ring Flyers cycling club in partnership with the City of New Richmond and New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce. Over 200 riders, along with families and friends are expected to attend this event. Beyond the races, there will be exhibitions showcasing local businesses, tourism, industry leaders and local food and beverages, live music events, a brewery tour and more.

“Wisconsin is a great place for a biking adventure, and it’s no wonder with our abundance of natural beauty and pristine trails,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Anne Sayers. “Fat biking ensures that biking can be enjoyed 12 months of the year in any weather. This event will show off the vast natural wonder of northern Wisconsin, not to mention awesome bikes — many of which are manufactured right in our state.”

Tourism in Wisconsin is a $17.3 billion industry that supports more than 157,000 jobs. It is crucial to the state’s economic recovery and success.

JEM grants are just one of the tools in Tourism’s toolbox to partner with organizations and nonprofits around the state that use innovation and creativity to bring visitors and dollars to their community.

In fiscal year 2021, the Department funded 45 JEM projects, awarding $1,130,000 million statewide. JEM grant funds are available to nonprofit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s
first-year advertising and marketing costs and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining.

Learn more about the 2022 Fat Bike World Championships at

Learn more about the Big Ring Flyers cycling club at

Learn more about Tourism’s JEM grants at

Fingers Crossed, 2022 Resolutions Revealed


Fingers Crossed, 2022 Resolutions Revealed


New Year’s Resolutions may seem like a modern phenomenon. That’s wrong, unless internet postings are sometimes completely fabricated. Resolutions are centuries in the making.

Going back 4,000+ years, Babylonians were the first to make them, but not in January. Their New Year was celebrated during a 12-day festival in mid-March as crops were planted. If Babylonians kept their promises, or resolutions, favors were granted by pagan gods. If promises were broken, they would fall out of favor.

Fast forward to the Romans and 46 BC. Known for his reforms, Emperor Julius Caesar modified the calendar resulting in January 1st as the start of the New Year. January was named for Janus, a two-faced god who symbolically looked backward into the previous year as well as forward into the future. Romans offered sacrifices to their gods followed by promises, including good behavior, in the New Year.

The first day of a New Year for early Christians involved a tradition to reflect on past mistakes and a resolve to do better. For some, religious services were held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. They were called watch night services and included deep reflection and development of resolutions.

Into more modern time, resolutions generally involve self-improvement, which may explain why they are so darn hard to keep. Research says as many as 45 percent of Americans make resolutions for the New Year. Oh No! Only eight percent are successful with keeping their word. That bad track record won’t stop people from making resolutions, however.

So what about January 1st 2022 in the St. Croix Valley? Twenty-two resolutions for 2022 will not be presented. The usual ones like getting in shape, weight loss, or dialing down stress won’t appear either. Avoiding coffee or products that are distilled, brewed and fermented is not on the list either, as long as they are enjoyed in some measure of moderation.

OK St. Croix Valley, how about these ten suggested resolutions as a solid foundation in 2022:
-Learn something new each day, week, or month;
-Learn two or three new skills each year;
-Make new connections;
-Respect all;
-Volunteer in your community;
-Talk less and listen more;
-Dial down cell phones, tablets, and laptops;
-Complain less, compliment more;
-Make an investment – in yourself; and
-Cheer for an underdog once in a while

The St. Croix Valley is a remarkable corner of the world. Many of its residents are likely part of the eight percent group who abide by their resolutions. Regardless, there is no secret police to enforce them. But adherence to some common sense actions spread over 12 months can go a long way toward making the Valley an even better locale. Ready or not, here’s to 2022!