The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary December 2012 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties on January 23rd. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 4.9%, which is above the October and November rate 4.3%.One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.0%.
DWD said all but two of the 72 counties had rate increases between November and December. Menominee had a 1.7% decrease and Kenosha had a 0.2% decrease. Year over year, 34 counties had a rate decrease, 25 had a rate increase, and 13 had no change. Of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with a population of least 25,000 residents, 25 had rate increases between November and December, and seven had either a decrease or no change. Seventeen had either a decrease or no change compared to December 2011.
Only two counties had lower unemployment rates than St. Croix in December. Dane had the lowest rate in the state at 4.4% (up from November’s rate of 4.2% and October’s rate of 4.0%), followed by Pierce, also at 4.8% (up from October’s and November’s rate of 4.2%), St. Croix (4.9%), Calumet (4.9%), and La Crosse (also at 4.9%). Menominee (12.7%) had December’s highest unemployment rate in the state, followed by Iron (12.5%), Bayfield (11.9%), Vilas (11.0%), and Door (10.7%).
St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to the December rates for St. Croix and Pierce (above), Dunn County’s rate was 5.1% (up from 4.6%) and Polk County’s rate was 7.8%, compared to the November rate of 7.0%. Except for Polk, all four counties in the Greater St. Croix Valley had lower unemployment rates compared to December 2011.
The 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area reported an unemployment rate of 5.1%, up from November’s rate of 5.0% and October’s rate of 5.2%. One year ago, the unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 5.5%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in December was estimated at 6.6%, the same as November’s rate and lower than October’s rate of 6.9%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 7.0%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for December was estimated at 5.5%, down from November’s rate of and October’s rate of 5.7%. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate was 5.7% one year ago.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. in November was estimated at 7.8%, the same as November’s rate, but down from the October rate of 7.9%. One year ago the U.S. rate was estimated at 8.5%.
December’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.