On August 21st, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary July 2013 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 4.3%, which is lower than June’s rate of 4.6% and May’s rate of 4.4%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.3%. St. Croix’s unemployment rate for July is the lowest in the state for the third straight month, according to DWD.
DWD said rates decreased or remained the same in 68 of 72 counties between June and July. Compared to June 2012, the rates in 65 of the counties either declined or remained the same. Of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with a population of least 25,000 residents, 29 experienced a rate declined or remained the same between June and July. Compared to one year ago, the rates in 27 of the 32 communities either decreased or remained the same.
For the third consecutive month, Pierce County has the second-lowest rate in Wisconsin at 4.4%, followed by Dane (4.8%), Trempealeau (5.2%), and Calumet (5.3%). Menominee (16.7%) had the highest unemployment rate in July, followed by Iron (11.2%), Ashland (9.3%), Forest (9.1%), and Racine (8.8%).
St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to the July rates for St. Croix and Pierce (above), Dunn’s rate was 6.1% (down from June’s final rate of 6.3%) and Polk’s rate was 6.9% (down from June’s rate of 7.2%). Year over year, all four counties had lower unemployment rates.
The 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area reported an unemployment rate of 4.9% in July (down from 5.1% in June). One year ago, the unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 5.8%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin for July was estimated at 6.8%, which is the same as June’s rate but lower than May’s rate of 7.0%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 7.0%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota for July was estimated at 5.2%, which is the same as June’s rate but down from the May rate of 5.3%. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 5.8%.
The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. in July was estimated at 7.4%, which is down from 7.6% for both May and June. One year ago the U.S. rate was estimated at 8.2%.
July’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.