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November 2012 Economic Dashboard Released

The Nov. St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard has been released. MN and WI seem to be enjoying relatively stable, but much different economic environments with both showing unemployment rates down.

The November 2012 edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard has been released by the Center for Economic Research (CER) at UW-River Falls and St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC). The dashboard is a snapshot of the economic condition of the labor, consumer and housing markets in the seven county St. Croix Valley, which includes the Wisconsin counties of Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, and Dunn and the Minnesota counties of Chisago, Ramsey and Washington. It presents the latest available data in one convenient package (note: most regional data is available with a one or two month delay).

The Dashboard can be viewed on the CER’s website at www.uwrf.edu/cer.


Dr. Logan Kelly, director of the CER, conducts research for the Dashboard and offered his observations:


National Indicators

"The national economy seems to be in a brighter place than a year ago. As we approach the holiday season, the unemployment rate and inflation are while GDP growth is up. The GDP growth rate is up 0.74 percentage points from last year. The unemployment rate is unchanged from one month previous. Inflation is down 1.37 percentage points from a year previous, which may be good news for retail sales going into the holiday season."


State Indicators

"From a state perspective, Minnesota and Wisconsin seem to be enjoying relatively stable, but much different economic environments. Minnesota, Wisconsin and the local region unemployment rates are down from last month and a year ago."


Labor Market

"An even closer examination of Minnesota reveals a rise in total employment in 3 major counties surrounding the metro and a decrease in the labor force. Minnesota has seen a slight fall in only a few sectors of employment: mining and logging, trade and transportation, and leisure and hospitality. However, the state has seen a steady rise in other sectors: construction, business and professional services, and education and health services."

"A closer examination of Wisconsin reveals a steady rise in total employment in the four counties surrounding the metro from last month and a slight increase in the labor force. Wisconsin has seen a rise in some sectors of employment: information services, business and professional services, and the education and health services industries Wisconsin has seen a fall in seven out of twelve sectors of employment: mining and logging, construction, and leisure and hospitality taking the largest hits."


Housing

"The housing market is showing signs of stabilization. The Case-Shiller Home Price index has shown incases for the five month in Chicago, Minneapolis and Nationally. This combined with steady median home price and number of homes sold in the region, indicate that the housing market may be reaching the ‘new normal’."

The Wisconsin/Minnesota St. Croix Valley is comprised of St. Croix, Polk, Pierce and Dunn counties in Wisconsin and Chisago, Ramsey and Washington counties in Minnesota. All seven counties are located at or near the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Five of the seven counties (St. Croix, Pierce, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington) are included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metropolitan area, a 13-county region with of population of 3.3 million residents.

For additional information on the October edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard, contact Dr. Logan Kelly at cer@uwrf.edu or (715) 425-4993 or William Rubin at bill@stcroixedc.com or (715) 381-4383.

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