August 2022 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s August Unemployment Rate is 2.9%

On September 21st, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary August 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s August rate was estimated at 2.9%, which is the same as July’s final rate and lower than June’s final rate of 3.1%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.0%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from July to August declined or stayed the same in 63 of the 72 counties. Rates declined or stayed the same in 66 of the 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 2.4% in Kewaunee to 8.9% in Menominee. 

Preliminary unemployment rates from July to August decreased or stayed the same in 29 of Wisconsin’s 21 largest cities. Year-over-year, the rates declined or stayed the same in 34 cities. Rates ranged from 2.4% in Madison to 5.6% in both Beloit and Racine.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in August include Kewaunee (2.4%), Dane (2.5%), Green (also at 2.5%), Iowa (also at 2.5%), and Calumet (2.6%). Menominee had the highest rate in August at 8.9%, followed by Iron (5.3%), Adams (5.1%), Forest (5.0%), and Bayfield (4.8%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 2.9%, August’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.1% and Polk’s rate was 3.2%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The August 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.1%, which is higher than July’s final rate of 2.0% but lower than June’s final rate of 2.2%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.2% in August 2021.

Nearby Washington County in Minnesota reported a preliminary rate of 1.9% for August, while Dakota reported a rate of 2.0% and Chisago had a rate of 2.1%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in August was estimated at 3.1%, which is higher than July’s final rate of 3.0% and June’s final rate of 2.9%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.6%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for August was estimated at 1.9%, which is higher than the final rate of 1.8% for both July and June. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.3%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for August was estimated at 3.7%, which is higher than July’s final rate of 3.5% and June’s final rate of 3.6%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 5.2%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for August was estimated at 65.9%, which is lower than July’s final rate of 66.2% and June’s final rate of 66.4%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 66.6%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in August was estimated at 62.4%, which is higher than July’s final rate of 62.1% and June’s final rate of 62.2%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.7%. 

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

Homecoming 2022: Wake up the Echoes


Homecoming 2022: Wake up the Echoes


Graduating classes come and go.

Marching bands come and go.

Cheer squads come and go.

Coaches, team managers, and cable television announcers all come and go.

But there’s only one homecoming. And across the U.S., an important date on the calendar is near, Homecoming 2022. Coronations, parades, bonfires – oops, that’s a specter from a bygone era, and pep rallies all lead up to the game – perhaps better phrased as Thee Game. Win it and teammates rejoice for decades. Lose it, and those same teammates are haunted beyond decades.

What about the economic impact of homecoming? A 2011 news clip from Albany, Georgia proclaimed, “City officials say Albany businesses should receive an economic impact between four to five million dollars from Homecoming.” The owner of a restaurant said homecoming was biggest week of the year by far. “There’s nothing like the Albany State Homecoming weekend,” the owner boasted. Is it possible for college fans to spend a little over $380 traveling to their alma mater as a 2021 study suggested? Ouch. And Yes. Gotta eat. Gotta sleep. Gotta get swag. Gotta celebrate. Or commiserate. Remember, consumer spending is responsible for 70 percent of the country’s economic activity. This includes spending on football and homecoming.

Bringing it down to a local level, bars and grills will be full before and after games. Concession stands will be busy, too. Floats for parades don’t decorate themselves. And topping the tank to and from big games is a must, even as gas settles in at $3.70+ a gallon. Back in the day, new dresses and coats were purchased for homecoming. Fast forward to 2022 and more than one family elder may ask, “You paid how much for those jeans and they came with all those holes?”

Families in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley find ways to come through. They’ll do it again for homecoming this fall. Boosters play a big role behind the scenes. An undersized 220 pound defensive lineman needs pasta on the eve of big games, followed by brownies and milk for desert. Boosters make it happen. Eight and nine-year old kids playing organized football for the first time soon become high school juniors and seniors. Unpaid boosters played big roles in getting them there.

An unnamed university in South Bend, Indiana has high expectations for academic achievement and even higher expectations for success on the football field. Their fight song asks followers to wake up the echoes, cheering her name! This is a call for all loyalists, living or not, to pull for a victory. How can the opposing team stand up to a legion like this?

And now on to the big game, Homecoming 2022. Good luck players, coaches, drum majors, cheerleaders, and fans. Blackhawks, Hilltoppers, Panthers, Raiders, Spartans, and Tigers will call upon their legions. Wake up the echoes!

EDC Proclaims Craft Brewing Day on September 15

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EDC Proclaims Craft Brewing Day on September 15

St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will proclaim Thursday, September 15th as Craft Brewing Day in St. Croix County. This is an annual celebration in recognition of a small but growing business sector in the county.

“Craft breweries play important roles in communities,” said Bill Rubin, St. Croix EDC’s executive director. “They often serve as anchors in central business districts, and taprooms are places for residents and tourists to socialize, sample fresh products, and sometimes dine and listen to live music,” he added.

St. Croix County boasts six craft breweries, including Rush River Brewing (River Falls), Bobtown Brewhouse & Grill (Roberts), Pitchfork Brewing (Town of Hudson), Oliphant Brewing (Somerset), Hop and Barrel (Hudson), and Lift Bridge Brewing (New Richmond). Swinging Bridge Brewing and The Garage Bikes + Brews are located just across the county line in River Falls.

Each brewery will receive a proclamation from the EDC. An in-person event at Hop and Barrel is planned from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on the 15th. Co-founders Justin Terbeest and Brian Priefer will be honored with a proclamation at 5:00.

The Brewers Association ( ) is a national trade group for craft brewers. While overall beer production in 2021 was up only one percent, craft brewing production was up almost eight percent. The total number of U.S. breweries in 2021 approached 9,150 and included 1,886 microbreweries, 3,708 taprooms, and 3,307 brewpubs. The overall beer market was estimated at $100.2 billion in 2021 and the craft beer market was $26.8 billion.

In 2021, Wisconsin ranked 14th in the U.S. with an estimated 230 craft breweries. Those breweries contributed an economic impact of $2.42 billion, ranking the state 14th. Wisconsin craft brewers produced almost 840,000 barrels last year to rank 11th.

The EDC asks residents to consider stopping at taprooms on September 15th. Whether enjoying a lager, pilsner, pale ale, IPA or stout, please do so responsibly.

For questions or comments, please call St. Croix EDC at 715.690.2110.