June 2023 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s June Unemployment Rate at 3.5%

On July 26th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary June 2023 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s June rate was estimated at 3.5%, which is higher than May’s final rate of 2.8% and April’s final rate 2.9%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.4%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from May to June increased in all 72 counties. Year-over-year, rates in 57 counties decreased or stayed the same. Current rates range from 2.5% in Lafayette to 7.2% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from May to June increased in all of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year, the rates declined or stayed the same in 25 cities. Rates ranged from 2.7% in Muskego to 4.9% in Beloit.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in June include Lafayette (2.5%), Clark (2.7%), Dane (2.8%), Door (also at 2.8%), and Green (also at 2.8%). Menomonee had the highest rate in June at 7.2%, followed by Iron (5.9%), Adams (5.0%), Forest (4.6%), and Douglas (4.4%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 3.5%, June’s preliminary rate for both Pierce and Polk was 3.4%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The June 2023 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 3.3%, which is higher than May’s final rate of 2.9% and April’s final rate of 2.7%. The unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was 2.7% in June 2022.

Nearby Washington County in Minnesota reported a preliminary rate of 3.1% in June, while Dakota County, MN reported a rate of 3.2% and Chisago County, MN had a rate of 3.6%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in June was estimated at 2.5%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.4% for both May and April. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 2.9%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Minnesota in June was estimated at 2.9%, which is the same as May’s final rate buy higher than April’s final rate of 2.8%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 2.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for June was estimated at 3.6%, which is lower than May’s final rate of but higher than April’s final rate of 3.4%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 3.6%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for June was estimated at 65.3%, which is higher than May’s final rate of 65.1% and April’s final rate of 64.8%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 65.2%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in June was estimated at 62.6%, which is the same as the final rate for May and April. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.2%.

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

St. Croix EDC Hosts Bakke Norman Panelists on August 28th

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Save-the-Date Zoom Event:
St. Croix EDC Hosts Bakke Norman
Panelists on August 28th

St. Croix EDC will host attorneys from Bakke Norman starting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 28th via zoom® for short presentations packed with expert advice for your business.

Topics presented by Bakke Norman will include creditor and business owner matters, business litigation, new laws governing LLCs, working with municipalities, employer and employee issues, and navigating mergers and acquisitions.

The event is free, but registration is required to access the zoom® link.


About Bakke Norman
Bakke Norman has been offering exceptional advice to businesses throughout Northwest Wisconsin since 1985. Our full-service law firm is prepared to handle the legal complexities faced by large corporations as well as the legal needs of small and first-time business owners. At Bakke Norman our focus is to provide superior quality legal services to our community. Our success is driven not only by our dedicated team of attorneys, but by the satisfaction of our clients who trust and recommend Bakke Norman to take care of business.

Bakke Norman Attorneys at Law – Genuine People, Accomplished Attorneys, Expert Advice

To find the Bakke Norman Law Office nearest you, visit www.bakkenorman.com.

A Guy, a Truck, and Good Roads


A Guy, a Truck, and Good Roads


There’s a story that goes back to 1935 and involves an enterprising guy named Norman. He had a truck and a vision. Norman loaded up a team of horses and hauled them from Hudson, Wisconsin to Trempealeau, near the end of the Earth, but also in Wisconsin.

As the crow flies, meaning generally in a straight line, the one-way distance to Trempealeau is around 93 miles. Roads from Point ‘A’ to Point ‘B’ rarely follow a straight line. An online trip planning service indicates the distance is 143 miles, following an interstate, U.S. highway, and state highway route. The trip advisor service further adds the travel time is two hours and twenty-one minutes, if it’s driven nonstop. That was a big “if” in 1935. Remember, Norman was hauling horses.

Norman earned $1.50 for his delivery. Gas in 1935 was an unheard of price of nineteen cents a gallon. To save on expenses, it’s a safe bet Norman had a couple sandwiches with him. And a coffee thermos. And a blanket. And maybe a tire iron under the seat as a travel companion? Norman made it back to Hudson safely and went on to many other deliveries and adventures.

A few million miles later, the old school trucking company is now a modern supply chain company with all sorts of technology. Son Jerry followed Norman, and Jerry’s son Todd now leads the organization. Brother Eric directs contract logistics. The beat goes on.

Part of this story involves the ever-changing transportation network in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley. Back in 1935, Interstate 94 was an engineer’s dream – a wild one. Opening the 41 mile segment of I94 from Hudson to Menomonie did not occur until late October 1959. The portion from Menomonie to Eau Claire was partially completed and opened later. As an historical footnote, the 59 mile stretch from Hudson to Eau Claire was the largest section of the interstate system to be dedicated at the time in the U.S.

How did the interstate system get built? The Federal-Aid Highway Act was signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower in mid-1956.  The legislation was also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. The military side of Eisenhower understood the relationship between a system of connected highways and a strong national defense. By 1992 and around 41,000 miles later, the U.S. interstate system was deemed complete.

Whether it’s the interstate, U.S. highways, state highways, county highways, or town roads, they take a pounding. I94 in Hudson carries 95,000 vehicles a day, maybe more. From semis to cycles, the hum is constant. Road maintenance and reconstruction are inevitable. Road foundations and surfaces withstand January’s bitter cold and August’s heat. Meanwhile, roads and highways get residents to work and are vital for business and industry. Elected officials from Hudson to Trempealeau and beyond have additional transportation funding at the top of their mythical Wish Lists.

Norman would likely be amazed at today’s highway network. Here’s to a man, his truck, and a vision. Here’s to good roads. Here’s to orange cones and zipper lanes. They’re signs that good roads will soon be improved. The beat goes on.

Legislative Wrap-Up Conversation with WEDA’s Michael Welsh

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Legislative Wrap-Up Conversation with WEDA’s Michael Welsh

Thursday July 20, 2023   11:00am

On Thursday, July 20th, St. Croix EDC will host Michael Welsh for a 45-minute zoom® conversation on the latest legislative session in Madison.

RSVP HERE for Zoom link

The 2023-2025 budget sets the course for Wisconsin over the next two fiscal years Numerous laws impacting economic development and business/industry were enacted going back to the start of the session in January and Welsh will provide his summary and observations.

The conversation starts at promptly at 11:00 a.m. and the waiting room opens at 10:50 for attendees.

About Michael Welsh and WEDA
Michael Welsh resides in the Madison area and serves as the vice president of legislative affairs and communications for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA), representing the state’s private and public sectors on initiatives to advance economic development. WEDA boasts 450+ members. Early in his career, Michael served as a legislative policy aide at the capitol as well as a lobbyist for a private consulting firm. He is also the
co-owner of PW Government Relations Group, LLC, based in Madison.

Thank you to the 2023 Legacy EDC Members