On June 24, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary May 2020 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 34 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s May rate was estimated at 13.8%, which is lower than the final rate of 16.1% for April and March’s final rate of 4.0%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.8%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from April to May decreased in 69 of the 72 counties, but increased year-over-year in all counties.The rates ranged from 7.0% in Taylor to 31.2% in Menominee. 

Preliminary unemployment rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 34 largest municipalities from April to May and increased in all of them year-over-year. Rates ranged from 8.2% in Fitchburg to 17.5% in Superior.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in May include Taylor (7.0%), Clark (7.2%), Green (8.4%), Lafayette (also at 8.4%), and Vernon (8.8%). Menominee County had the highest rate in May at 31.2%, followed by Forest (21.7%), Iron (19.0%), Douglas (17.8%), and Adams (17.1%).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 13.8%, May’s preliminary rate in Dunn is 10.3%, while Polk reported 12.4% and Pierce reported 13.7%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The May 2020 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 10.4%, which is higher than April’s final rate of 9.2% and March’s final rate of 3.1%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 2.7% in May 2019. 

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in May was estimated at 12.0%, which is lower than April’s final rate of 13.6%, but significantly higher than March’s final rate of 3.1%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.3%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in May was estimated at 9.9%, which is higher than April’s final rate of 8.7% and March’s final rate of 2.9%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 3.2%. 

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for May was estimated at 13.3%, which is lower than April’s final rate of 14.7% but higher than the final rate of 4.4% for March. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 3.6%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for May was 66.6%, which is higher than April’s final rate of 65.5% and March’s final rate of 66.4%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 67.0%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in May was estimated at 60.8%, which is higher than April’s final rate of 60.2% but lower than March’s final rate of 62.7%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.9%. 

May’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.

May 2020

County  Unemployment RateRankOne Year Ago

Barron11.1%30 of 723.0%

Chippewa10.3%17 of 723.0%

Clark7.2%2 of 722.9%

Dunn10.3%17 of 723.4%

Eau Claire10.8%24 of 722.9%

Pepin11.2%31 of 722.7%

Pierce13.74%55 of 723.0%

Polk12.4%45 of 723.0%

Rusk10.5%20 of 723.9%

St. Croix13.8%57 of 722.8%

Twin Cities Metro10.4%---2.7%

State of Wisconsin12.0%*---3.3%*

State of Minnesota9.9%*---3.2%*

United States13.3%*---3.6%*

*Seasonally adjusted

Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development; and St. Croix Economic Development Corp.

Notes: 

The 10 counties of west central and northwest Wisconsin comprise Momentum West, an external marketing and economic development organization; 

The Twin Cities Metro Area is comprised of 15 counties (13 in Minnesota plus St. Croix and Pierce in Wisconsin)

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