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Economic wow: St. Croix and Pierce rank No. 1 and 2 in Wisconsin

For the fourth straight month, St. Croix County had the lowest jobless rate among the state’s 72 counties at 4%. Coming in at No. 2, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, was Pierce County at 4.2%

The Madison area of Dane County was third at 4.5%.

The DWD said rates decreased or remained the same in 71 of 72 Wisconsin counties between July and August. Only Bayfield County experienced a rate increase, going from 7.5% to 8.3%.

Compared to August 2012, the rates declined in all but three counties -- Bayfield, Buffalo, and Florence. Rates declined in all of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with a population of least 25,000 residents between July and August.

Compared to one year ago, rates declined in all but two municipalities -- Caledonia and Superior.

Other low jobless counties were Trempealeau, 4.7%, and Calumet, 4.8%.

Menominee, 16.7%, had the highest unemployment rate in August, followed by Iron, 9.8%, Forest, 8.6%), Bayfield 8.3%, and Adams 8.2%.

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to the August rates for St. Croix and Pierce, Dunn’s rate was 5.5%, (down from July’s final rate of 6.1%) and Polk’s rate was 6.2% (down from July’s rate of 6.9%). 

The 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Minn./Wis metro area reported an unemployment rate of 4.7% in August (down from 4.9%). One year ago, the unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 5.6%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin for August was estimated at 6.7%, which is down from the June and July rate of 6.8%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 7%.