October Unemployment at 2.6%

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St. Croix County’s October Unemployment Rate is 2.6%

On November 23rd, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary October 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s October rate was estimated at 2.6%, which is lower than the final rate of 2.9% for both September and August. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.3%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from September to October declined or stayed the same in 71 of the 72 counties. Rates declined or stayed the same in 10 of the 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 2.2% in Calumet 5.9% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from September to October decreased or stayed the same in all of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year, the rates declined or stayed the same in 14 cities. Rates ranged from 2.0% in Sun Prairie to 4.5% in Milwaukee and Racine.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in October include Calumet (2.2%), Clark (also at 2.2%), Dane (also at 2.2%), Iowa (also at 2.2%), and Eau Claire (2.3%). Menominee had the highest rate in October at 5.9%, followed by Iron (4.9%), Forest (4.7%), Adams (4.4%), and Milwaukee (4.0%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 2.6%, October’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 2.7% and Polk’s rate was 2.9%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The October 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 1.7%, which is lower than September’s final rate of 1.9% and August’s final rate of 2.2%. The unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was 2.4% in October 2021.

Nearby Washington County in Minnesota reported a preliminary rate of 1.6% for October, while Dakota County, MN reported a rate of 1.6% and Chisago County MN had a rate of 1.7%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in October was estimated at 3.3%, which is higher than the final rate of 3.2% for September and 3.1% for August’s final rate. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.2%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for October was estimated at 2.1%, which is higher than September’s final rate of 2.0% and August’s final rate of 1.9%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.1%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for October was estimated at 3.7%, which is higher than September’s final rate of 3.5%, but the same as August’s final rate. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.6%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for October was estimated at 65.3%, which is lower than September’s final rate of 65.6% and August’s final rate of 65.9%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 66.4%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in October was estimated at 62.2%, which is lower than September’s final rate of 62.3% and August’s final rate of 62.4%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.7%.

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

EDC Recognizes Apprenticeship Week

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EDC Recognizes Apprenticeship Week

Photos (top left): Eric Lockwood of Northwood Technical College (blue shirt) helped coordinate a stop at Comar in Woodville, Wisconsin (top right): St. Croix EDC, CESA #11, and the Glenwood City school district visited Green Kleen Products during National Apprenticeship Week (bottom left) Students Emma McCorison and Owen Nyberg with head teller Kevin Hoeft (holding proclamation) and President, CEO and Chairman Todd Schultz (right) at River Falls State Bank (bottom right) The St. Croix EDC Business Retention Committee visited McDonalds in River Falls to recognize (l to r) student Kevin James, mentor Lori Hoeft and advisor Melisa Hansen.

 

The eighth annual National Apprenticeship Month was celebrated November 14-20, 2022. It is a nationwide celebration involving industry, labor, equity, workforce, education, civic, and government leaders.

The EDC helped showcase Youth Apprenticeships (YA) through school districts in the county and Registered Apprenticeships (RA) through Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

An apprenticeship provides real-life opportunities that cannot be duplicated in any other training program. They involve supervised, structured, on-the-job training and learning. With public school districts, YAs integrates school-based and work-based learning for students in employability and occupational skills, as defined by Wisconsin industries. Paid on-the-job work experience is an important part of YAs. RAs prepare skilled trades people (journey workers) to the workforce in Wisconsin. It is an earn-while-you-learn program of on-the-job training combined with trade-related classroom instruction.

St. Croix EDC made stops at River Falls State Bank (River Falls), McDonald’s (River Falls), Northside Power Equipment (Woodville), Green Kleen Products (Glenwood City), and Comar (Woodville).

Congratulations to the school districts, technical colleges, students, and employers for making the apprentice programs in the St. Croix Valley a strong and successful one.

September Unemployment Rate is 2.9%

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St. Croix County’s September Unemployment Rate at 2.9%

On October 26th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary September 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s September rate was estimated at 2.9%, which is the same as the final rates for both August and July. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.6%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from August to September declined or stayed the same in 57 of the 72 counties. Rates declined or stayed the same in 12 of the 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 2.5% in Dane to 5.9% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from August to September decreased or stayed the same in 25 of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year, the rates declined or stayed the same in 13 cities. Rates ranged from 2.4% in Sun Prairie to 4.9% in Beloit.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in September include Dane (2.5%), Calumet (2.6%), Clark (also at 2.6%), Iowa (also at 2.6%), and Lafayette (also at 2.6%). Menominee had the highest rate in September at 5.9%, followed by Iron (5.1%), Forest (5.0%), Adams (4.7%), and Milwaukee (4.3%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 2.9%, September’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.0% 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 September 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 September 2021.

Nearby Washington County in Minnesota reported a preliminary rate of 1.6% for September, while Dakota reported a rate of 1.7% and Chisago had a rate of 1.9%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in September was estimated at3.2%, which is higher than the final rate of 3.1% for August and July’s final rate of 3.0%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for September was estimated at 2.0%, which is higher than August’s final rate of 1.9% and July’s final rate of 1.8%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.2%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for September was estimated at 3.5%, which is lower than August’s final rate of 3.7% but the same as July’s final rate of 3.5%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.8%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for September was estimated at 65.6%, which is lower than August’s final rate of 65.9% and July’s final rate of 66.2%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 66.5%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in September was estimated at 62.3%, which is lower than the final rate of 62.4% but higher than July’s final rate of 62.1%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.6%.

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

Nominations Open for 2022 Business of the Year

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Nominations Open for 2022 Business of the Year

St. Croix EDC is accepting nominations for its 2022 Business of the Year awards program.

Categories include:
-Emerging Business of the Year (a start-up business that has operated in St. Croix County for five or fewer years, 2018-2022);
-Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees); and
-Business of the Year (30 or more employees)

Qualifying companies must be involved in manufacturing, distribution, construction, health care, or must be a service provider to other companies. Companies must be operated for profit. Retail companies are not eligible.

Individuals may nominate a company in any of the categories or a business may place their company’s name in nomination.

Criteria include:
Recent Noteworthy Accomplishments:
i.e. milestone anniversary, physical plant expansion, new product line, increases in employment, sales increases, pollution control advances, new training programs, export sales, or any other significant advances.

Contributions to Enhance the Community:
Contributions to community projects, service to area youth, education programs, and other efforts to increase the quality of life in the area.

The honorees will be announced in January and recognized at an event mid February. The exact date and location are yet to be determined.

A nomination form and guidelines can be obtained by clicking here or by contacting Nita Dusek at nita@stcroixedc.com or calling by (715) 690-2110. The deadline to submit is Friday, December 16, 2022 at the close of business.

St. Croix EDC Recognizes SMC Ltd. During Manufacturing Month

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St. Croix EDC Recognizes SMC Ltd. During Manufacturing Month

Photo: (front, l to r) Roy Gruel and Crystal Schuldt of SMC Ltd. pose with representatives of St. Croix EDC and the Village of Somerset as part of the National Manufacturing Month on Friday, October 14, 2022

Representatives from St. Croix EDC and the Village of Somerset recognized SMC Ltd. as part of National Manufacturing Month on Friday, October 14, 2022.

About SCM Ltd.
SMC Ltd. is a global contract manufacturer offering complete design, molding services, and finished devices for the medical, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical industries. With locations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Massachusetts, California, Costa Rica, India and United Kingdom, SMC’s facilities provide high and low volume medical contract manufacturing. The company’s medical operations offer ISO 13485 quality systems, white room, class 7 and 8 clean rooms with services that include design, engineering, project management, and validation. Integrated capabilities include: thermoplastic molding (including 2-shot), LIM (liquid injection molding), secondary operations, micro molding, assembly, and kitting and packaging of finished devices. Learn more at www.smcltd.com.

About Manufacturing Month
Every October is designated as Manufacturing Month in the United States, and the first Friday in October is designated as Manufacturing Day. The recognition gives employers, educators, community members, and prospective employees an opportunity to promote and learn of the exceptional careers in advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing in Wisconsin
Manufacturing is Wisconsin’s top industry sector, producing $65+ billion in total output, or almost 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector boasts around 8,000+ incorporated businesses and employs one in six workers or around 475,000+ associates across the state.

About St. Croix EDC
St. Croix EDC is an IRS business league organization that operates as the independent economic development of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communications, business retention, expansion, recruitment, new business start-ups, workforce readiness and development, and small business advocacy. Learn more at www.stcroixedc.com.

For more information, contact William Rubin, EDC executive director, 715.690.2110.

St. Croix EDC Recognizes Hudson Grocery Cooperative During National Co-op Month

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St. Croix EDC Recognizes Hudson Grocery Cooperative During National Co-op Month

Photo: Board members from the Hudson Grocery Cooperative posed with representatives of St. Croix EDC as part of the EDC’s recognition of National Co-op Month on Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Representatives from St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC) honored the Hudson Grocery Cooperative (Hudson, Wisc.) as part of National Co-op Month on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

About Hudson Grocery Cooperative
The idea for Hudson Grocery Cooperative began on the playground of Willow River Elementary School. Neighbors shared stories about our community and the discussion turned toward local grocery stores. A void left in downtown Hudson when a grocery closed. Local grocery co-ops had been an integral part of life in other communities and there was strong interest in launching a grocery co-op in Hudson. This became the seed for a survey to gauge community interest in a cooperative. Within two weeks of publishing the survey, over 200 positive responses were returned. Articles of Incorporation officially launched Hudson Grocery Cooperative in 2012.

Learn more at https://hudsongrocery.coop/

About National Co-op Month
Celebrated during the month of October, National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven business model. The 2022 theme is “Co-ops Build Economic Power” and represents an opportunity to lift up the cooperative business model as the best way to build an economy that empowers everyone.

About St. Croix EDC
St. Croix EDC is an IRS business league organization that operates as the independent economic development of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communications, business retention, expansion, recruitment, new business start-ups, workforce readiness and development, and small business advocacy. Learn more at www.stcroixedc.com.

For more information, contact William Rubin, EDC executive director, 715.690.2110.

St. Croix EDC Recognizes SDMC America Technology on Manufacturing Day

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St. Croix EDC Recognizes SDMC America Technology on Manufacturing Day

Photo: Jerry Yu (center of photo) is the chief executive officer of SDMC America Technology Inc. and he posed with representatives of St. Croix EDC and the City of River Falls as part of National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7, 2022

Representatives from St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and River Falls community leaders recognized SDMC America Technology Inc. as part of National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7, 2022.

About SDMC

SDMC is located in the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation, 1091 Sutherland Avenue, River Falls, Wisconsin. The company designs, manufactures, and sells material handling equipment to move non-free flowing material, such as solid waste, biosolids or organic waste. SDMC’s systems include storage technology, conveying technology, elevation technology, and discharge technology. Jerry Yu leads SDMS as its chief executive officer. More information is available at www.sdmcusa.com.

About Manufacturing Month and Day

Every October is designated as Manufacturing Month in the United States, and the first Friday in October is designated as Manufacturing Day. The recognition gives employers, educators, community members, and prospective employees an opportunity to promote and learn of the exceptional careers in advanced manufacturing.

About Manufacturing in Wisconsin

Manufacturing is Wisconsin’s top industry sector, producing $65+ billion in total output, or almost 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector boasts around 8,000+ incorporated businesses and employs one in six workers or around 475,000+ associates across the state. 

About St. Croix EDC

St. Croix EDC is an IRS business league organization that operates as the independent economic development of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communications, business retention, expansion, recruitment, new business start-ups, workforce readiness and development, and small business advocacy. Learn more at www.stcroixedc.com.

For more information, contact William Rubin, EDC executive director, 715.690.2110.

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.

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 ( www.brewersassociation.org ) 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.

Family Friendly Workplaces

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St. Croix EDC Hosts Conversation on Family Friendly Workplaces

Wednesday September 21, 2022        
8:00-8:30am networking, coffee and bakery treats
8:30am Program Starts
Northwood Technical College-New Richmond

The event is free, but RSVP’s are required.
Register at www.tinyurl.com/FFworkplace

In 2030, Wisconsin is forecast to add less than 150 individuals to its statewide workforce. In that same year, St. Croix County will add only 200. This data speaks to the long-term human resources challenge that currently faces the state, county, and region, and which requires a strategic and concerted effort to address.

Join St. Croix EDC on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at Northwood Technical College-New Richmond. The presentation, a conversation on the topic of how family friendly policies and practices can help business and industry address short-term and long-term workforce challenges, starts promptly at 8:30.

Neil Kline, executive director of Family Friendly Workplaces, (photo above) will present information on steps business and industry can take to ensure companies in west central Wisconsin are employers of choice, which gives the region a stellar reputation as the premier destination to raise a family, all while strengthening families and children.

Family Friendly Workplaces are imperative for business and industry to be considered employers of choice.

RSVP’s are required. Register at www.tinyurl.com/FFworkplace

About Family Friendly Workplaces

Family Friendly Workplaces (FFW) is a charitable nonprofit based in Woodville working to address west central Wisconsin’s workforce shortage, and strengthen the region’s Wisconsin families, by certifying businesses as Family Friendly, and encouraging the adoption of Family Friendly practices. Learn more at www.familyfriendlyworkplaces.org

July 2022 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s July 2022 Unemployment Rate at 2.9%

On August 24th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary July 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s July rate was estimated at 2.9%, which is lower than June’s final rate of 3.1% but higher than May’s final rate of 2.5%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.1%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from June to July declined or stayed the same in 63 of the 72 counties. Rates declined or stayed the same in 70 of the 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 2.5% in Dane to 9.1% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from June to July decreased or stayed the same in 29 of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year, the rates declined or stayed the same in 33 cities. Rates ranged from 2.3% in Fitchburg to 5.5% in Milwaukee.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in July include Dane (2.5%), Kewaunee (also at 2.5%), Calumet (2.6%), Lafayette (also at 2.6%), and Clark (2.7%). Menominee had the highest rate in July at 9.1%, followed by Iron (5.7%), Adams (5.3%), Forest (5.1%), and Bayfield (5.0%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 2.9%, July’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.1% and Polk’s rate was 3.3%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The July 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.0%, which is lower than June’s final rate of 2.2%, but higher than May’s final rate of 1.6%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.2% in July 2021.

Nearby Washington County in Minnesota reported a preliminary rate of 1.8% for July compared to June’s final rate of 2.0%, while Dakota reported a rate of 1.9% for July versus 2.1% for June, and Chisago’s rate for July was 2.0%, compared to 2.2% in June.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in July was estimated at 3.0%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.9% for both June and May. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.8%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for July was estimated at 1.8%, which is the same as the final rate for June and lower than May’s final rate of 2.0%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.3%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for July was estimated at 3.5%, which is lower than the final rate of 3.6% for both June and May. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 5.4%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for July was estimated at 66.2%, which is lower than June’s final rate of 66.4% and May’s final rate of 66.5%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 66.7%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in July was estimated at 62.1%, which is lower than June’s final rate of 62.2% and May’s final rate of 62.3%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.7%.

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

WEDC Recording

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Recording of a Conversation with WEDC’s Missy Hughes and Ray French

On Thursday August 18, St. Croix EDC hosted a conversation with board secretary and CEO Missy Hughes and regional economic development director Ray French. It was an insightful look at the role of the state’s lead economic development organization, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in supporting capital investment in the state, including the St. Croix Valley.

They discussed recent successes, initiatives, and programs that are making a difference for Wisconsin businesses and entrepreneurs.

You can watch the recorded Zoom event here.

A Conversation with Missy Hughes and Ray French of WEDC

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A Conversation with Missy Hughes and Ray French of WEDC

Please join board secretary and CEO Missy Hughes and regional economic development director Ray French at 12:00p.m. on August 18 via Zoom for an insightful look at the role of the state’s lead economic development organization, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in supporting capital investment in the state, including the St. Croix Valley.

REGISTER HERE

The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 18 starting at 12:00 pm.

They will discuss recent successes, initiatives, and programs that are making a difference for Wisconsin businesses and entrepreneurs.

Left: Ray French  Right: Missy Hughes

June 2022 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s June Unemployment Rate is 3.1%

On July 27th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary June 2022 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 3.1%, which is higher than May’s final rate of 2.5% and April’s final rate of 3.0%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from May to June decreased or stayed the same in three (3) of the 72 counties. Rates declined in all 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 2.6% in Lafayette to 7.6% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from May to June decreased or stayed the same in one (1) of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year the rates declined in all 35 cities. Rates ranged from 2.5% in Fitchburg to 5.4% in Milwaukee.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in June include Lafayette (2.6%), Dane (2.7%), Clark (2.8%), Green (also at 2.8%), Calumet (2.2%), and Calumet (2.9%). Menominee had the highest rate in June at 7.6%, followed by Forest (5.3%), Iron (5.2%), Adams (5.1%), and Bayfield (4.9%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 3.1%, June’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.2% and Polk’s rate was 3.3%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The June 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.2%, which is higher than May’s final rate of 1.6% and April’s final rate of 1.5%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.9% in June 2021.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in June was estimated at 2.9%, which is the same as May’s final rate, but higher than April’s final rate of 2.8%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for June was estimated at 1.8%, which is lower than May’s final rate of 2.0% and April’s final rate of 2.2%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for June was estimated at 3.6%, which is the same as the final rate for both May and April. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 5.9%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for June was estimated at 66.4%, which is lower than the final rate of 66.5% for both May and April. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 66.7%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in June was estimated at 62.2%, which is lower than May’s final rate of 62.3% and the same as April’s final rate of 62.2%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.6%.

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

May 2022 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s May Unemployment Rate is 2.5%

On June 22nd, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary May 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s May rate was estimated at 2.5%, which is lower than April’s final rate of 3.0% and the final rate of 3.5% for March. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.4%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from April to May decreased or stayed the same in 66 of the 72 counties. Rates declined in all 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 1.9% in Lafayette to 7.0% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates from April to May decreased or stayed the same in 13 of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year the rates declined in all 35 cities. Rates ranged from 1.9% in Fitchburg to 4.9% in Milwaukee.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in May include Lafayette (1.9%), Clark (2.1%), Green (also at 2.1%), Calumet (2.2%), and Dane (also at 2.2%). Menominee had the highest rate in May at 7.0%, followed by Iron (5.6%), Forest (5.3%), Bayfield (4.9%), and Adams (4.6%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 2.5%, May’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 2.7% 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 May 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 1.6%, which is higher than the final rates of 1.5% for April and 2.6% for March. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.8% in May 2021.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in May was estimated at 2.9%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.8% for both April and March. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.1%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for May was estimated at 2.0%, which is lower than the final of 2.2% for April and the final rate of 2.5% in March. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for May was estimated at 3.6%, which is the same as the final rate for both April and March. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 5.8%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for May was estimated at 66.5%, which is the same as the final rate for both April and March. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 66.7%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in May was estimated at 62.3%, which is higher than the final rate of 62.2% for April but lower than the final rate of 62.4% for March. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.6%.

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

Double Digit Traveler Spending Increase in 2021

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Greater St. Croix Valley Has Double Digit Traveler Spending Increase in 2021
State’s 2021 Tourism Spending Rises +31 Percent to $12.85 Billion

Traveler spending in St. Croix County increased from $90.3 million in 2020 to an estimated $113.3 million in 2021 (a +25.4% increase) according to an annual analysis released June 8th by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The total economic impact from travelers in St. Croix was also up, rising from $158.1 million in 2020 to $188 million in 2021 (up +18.7%). Spending from travelers and tourists supported an estimated 1,836 jobs in the county (up +5.1% from 2020) and generated $12.8 million in state and local taxes (up +12.4% from 2020).

Statewide, travelers spent an estimated $12.85 billion in 2021, an increase of +31.1% from 2020. The total economic impact from tourists in Wisconsin during 2021 was estimated at $20.9 billion (an increase of +21% percent from 2020). Tourism and traveler-supported employment in Wisconsin in 2021 increased +7.9% to 169,707 jobs. Tourism also provided the state and local units of government with tax revenues of $1.39 billion in 2021, up from $1.16 billion in 2020 (an increase of +19.1%).

Despite the increases in 2021, traveler and tourism spending is below pre-COVID levels of 2019.

St. Croix, Polk, Pierce counties comprise the Greater St. Croix Valley in Wisconsin. Visitor spending in 2021 for the region was estimated at $241.0 million compared to $197.5 million in 2020 (a +21.5% increase). 2021 spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley includes St. Croix’s estimated $113.3 million, $96.3 million in Polk, and $31.4 million in Pierce. Because of the Greater St. Croix Valley’s close proximity to the Twin Cities metro area, many visitors from Minnesota enjoy day trips to the three counties and return to their homes without incurring lodging expenses. Local overnight stays would greatly increase traveler spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley.

The total economic impact from travelers and visitors to the Greater St. Croix Valley in 2021 was estimated at $383 million, compared to $330 million in 2020 (a +16.1% increase). Impact per county includes $188 million in St. Croix, $125 million in Polk, and $47 million in Pierce.

Tourism-related employment in the Greater St. Croix Valley for 2021 was estimated at 3,359 jobs (up +7.38% from 2020) and includes 1,836 in St. Croix, 1,097 in Polk, and 426 in Pierce.

2021 state and local tax revenue attributable to visitors and travelers in the Greater St. Croix Valley was estimated at $25.0 million (up +12.6% from 2020) and includes $12.8 million from St. Croix, $8.9 million from Polk, and $3.3 million from Pierce.

Milwaukee is the state’s top county for visitor spending, estimated at $1.77 billion in 2021. Other counties in the Top 10 includes Sauk ($1.48 billion); Dane ($1.05 billion); Waukesha ($740.1 million); Brown ($632.7 million); Walworth ($594.5 million); Door ($423.0 million); Outagamie ($312.2 million); Vilas ($268.7 million); and La Crosse ($262.6 million).

Tourism is one of Wisconsin’s top three industries along with manufacturing and agriculture.

Read the interactive summary from Tourism at https://www.industry.travelwisconsin.com/research/economic-impact/.

Total Reward Strategies Zoom recording

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Total Reward Strategies

On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Linda Skoglund, Managing Partner and Alicia Schwartz, Benefits Consultant at JA Counter, an Alera Group Company held a conversation on total rewards strategies.

You can watch the recording here until July 8, 2022. You can download the presentation slides here and the 2022 Benchmarking Overview here.

In this one hour conversation, Linda & Alicia discussed trends regarding benefits, compensation and company culture and how enlightened employers are differentiating themselves from their competitors.

April 2022 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s April Unemployment Rate is 3.0%

On May 25th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary April 2022 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 35 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s April rate was estimated at 3.0%, which is lower than the final rate of 3.5% for March and February’s final rate of 3.4%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from March to April decreased or stayed the same in 63 of the 72 counties. Rates declined in all 72 counties year-over-year. The current rates range from 1.9% in Lafayette to 7.7% in Iron.

Preliminary unemployment rates from March to April decreased or stayed the same in 33 of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities. Year-over-year the rates declined in all 35 cities. Rates ranged from 1.8% in Fitchburg to 5.0% in Milwaukee.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in April include Lafayette (1.9%), Dane (2.0%), Green (also at 2.0%), Calumet (2.1%), and Fond du Lac (2.3%). Iron County had the highest rate in April at 7.7%, followed by Menominee (7.0%), Bayfield (6.6%), Forest (6.5%), and Burnett (5.8%).

St. Croix, Pierce, and Polk counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 3.0%, April’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.1% and Polk’s rate was 4.5%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The April 2022 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 1.5, which is lower than the final rate of 2.6% for March and February’s final rate of 2.4%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 4.1% in April 2021.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in April was estimated at 2.8%, which is the same as the final rate for March and lower than February’s final rate of 2.9%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.3%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for April was estimated at 2.2%, which is lower than the final rate of 2.5% in March and February’s final rate of 2.7%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.5%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for April was estimated at 3.6%, which is the same as the final rate for March and lower than February’s final rate of 3.8%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 6.0%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for April was estimated at 66.5%, which is the same as the final rate for March but higher than the final rate of 66.4% for February. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 66.7%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in April was estimated at 62.2%, which is lower than the final rate of 62.4% for March and February’s final rate of 62.3%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 61.7%.

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

Total Rewards Strategies

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Total Rewards Strategies

 Linda Skoglund (l), Managing Partner and Alicia Schwartz (r), Benefits Consultant at JA Counter, an Alera Group Company.

Please join St. Croix EDC on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 starting at 10:00 a.m. for an informative conversation on total rewards strategies with Linda Skoglund, Managing Partner and Alicia Schwartz, Benefits Consultant at JA Counter, an Alera Group Company.

REGISTER HERE

In this one hour conversation, Linda & Alicia will discuss trends regarding benefits, compensation and company culture and how enlightened employers are differentiating themselves from their competitors. 

Program attendees will learn what’s working in organizations that are winning the war on talent relative to compensation, career paths, communication and culture. 

Attend this session to learn what your current and prospective employees are looking for and how you need to think differently about communicating your value proposition.

REGISTER HERE

About Linda Skoglund
Linda is the managing partner of JA Counter, an Alera Group Company. As an insurance and benefits industry leader, she is responsible for the agency’s strategic direction and continued growth. Linda oversees JA Counter’s employee benefit and consulting practice while managing the organization’s vision, direction and client relationships. She has specialized expertise in areas of benefits consulting, regulatory compliance, benefits administration and insurance product design.  She is the lead benefit consultant for large employer groups, specializing in the public sector.

About Alicia Schwartz
As a Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC®), Alicia provides leadership and guidance to employers on benefit selection, total reward strategies, and the implementation and administration of benefits.  Alicia’s goal is to be an extension of an organization, working to strategically plan and develop a world-class total rewards package that meets the needs of the organization and their employees.

St. Croix EDC Hosts Competitive Wisconsin June 7th

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St. Croix EDC Hosts Competitive Wisconsin June 7th

St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will host James Wood of Competitive Wisconsin for a lunch presentation on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at the at the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center, 1091 Sutherland Avenue, River Falls, Wisconsin, from 11:30 a.m. (check-in and networking) to 1:15 p.m. The program begins at promptly at 12:00 p.m.

REGISTER HERE

Wood is the strategic counsel to Competitive Wisconsin. He will present insights to address eight areas of need and opportunity related to the most pressing systemic challenges faced by locally elected officials, employers, and community/regional leaders in recruiting and retaining the workforce in order to: a) support and grow the economy; b) pay for essential public services; and c) secure Wisconsin’s future.

Competitive Wisconsin’s eight key areas include early care and education, broadband access, workforce housing, transportation, energy, health care, rural resurgence, and community quality of life and opportunity.

Attendance is limited to the first 50 individuals and a complimentary lunch will be served. To ensure an accurate meal count, please RSVP HERE through Eventbrite or Nita@StCroixEDC.com by the close of business on Friday, June 3rd.

About Competitive Wisconsin Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) is a unique nonpartisan consortium of agriculture, business, education, government and labor leaders in Wisconsin who work together to focus attention on the state’s competitiveness. CWI’s mission is to improve the economic climate of Wisconsin in order to encourage the expansion of existing businesses and enhance the potential of developing and attracting new businesses. Learn more at www.Competitivewi.com.