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St. Croix County's February unemployment rate at 4.6 percent

On March 29, the Department of Workforce Development announced the preliminary February 2017 unemployment rates for Wisconsin's 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County's rate was estimated at 4.6 percent. For comparison, St. Croix's final rate in January was 4.2 percent and December's final rate was 3.7 percent. One year ago, the county's unemployment rate was estimated at 4.9 percent.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for February decreased or remained the same in 71 of 72 counties when compared to February 2016. The current rates ranged from 3.1 percent in Dane County to 8.6 percent in Iron.

The February 2017 preliminary unemployment rates decreased or stayed the same in 30 of Wisconsin's 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents when compared to February 2016. The February rates ranged from 2.9 percent in Madison to 6.3 percent in Racine.

Dane County had the lowest rate in February at 3.1 percent, followed by Ozaukee (3.5 percent), Calumet (3.6 percent), Sheboygan (also at 3.7 percent), and Fond du Lac (3.8 percent). Iron County had the highest rate in February at 8.6 percent, followed by Bayfield (8.3 percent), Adams (8.0 percent), Burnett (7.8 percent), and Sawyer (7.4 percent).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties make up Wisconsin's Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, Dunn County's preliminary rate for February was estimated at 4.9 percent. Pierce's rate in February was estimated at 5.1 percent and Polk's rate was 6.2 percent. The current rates in all four counties are lower compared to February 2016.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Minnesota-Wisconsin metro area. The February 2017 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 4.2 percent, which is the same as January's final rate but higher than December's final rate of 3.6 percent. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 4.0 percent in February 2016.

The preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Wisconsin in February was estimated at 3.7 percent, which is lower than the final rate of 3.9 percent for January and 4.1 percent for December. One year ago, the state's seasonally adjusted rate was 4.5 percent.

The preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Minnesota in January 2017 was estimated at 4.0 percent which is the same as the final rate for both January and December. Minnesota's seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 3.9 percent.

The preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the U.S. for February was estimated at 4.7 percent, which is lower than the final rate of 4.8 percent in January and the same as December's final. One year ago the U.S. rate was estimated at 4.9 percent.

Wisconsin's preliminary labor force participation rate for February 2017 was estimated at 68.3 percent, which is higher than the final rate of 68.1 percent in January and December's final rate of 68.0 percent. One year ago, Wisconsin's labor force participation rate was 68.7 percent. The preliminary labor force participation rate for the U.S. in January was estimated at 63.0 percent which is higher than the final rate of 62.9 percent for January and December's final rate of 62.7 percent. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.9 percent.

February's estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.

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