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St. Croix has second-lowest unemployment in state

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BALDWIN — St. Croix County has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.1 percent and is ranked 71st out of 72 counties.

Dunn County is ranked 54th out of 72 counties for unemployment at 7.4 percent.

Statistics about economic development in the St. Croix Valley were presented at the Breakfast with the Joint Committee on Finance at the Orchard Restaurant in Baldwin April 18 prior to the state budget hearing at Baldwin-Woodville High School.

Besides St. Croix and Dunn, Pierce and Polk Counties are considered to be part of the St. Croix Valley area.

The breakfast was sponsored by the Economic Development Corporations in Dunn, St. Croix, Pierce and Polk Counties, along with the Baldwin-Woodville Chamber of Commerce, the Glenwood City Chamber of Commerce, the Hammond/Roberts Chamber, Hudson Area Chamber, New Richmond Area Chamber and the River Falls Area Chamber.

Pierce County is ranked 67th for unemployment at 6.2 percent, and Polk County is ranked 25th at 9.4 percent unemployment.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate overall is 7.0 percent, compared to 5.6 percent unemployment in Minnesota and 7.9 percent for the United States.

The new bridge at Stillwater, which will soon be under construction, is described as a “game changer” for economic development in the region.

More than half of the workforce in St. Croix County, 51 percent, leaves the county every day to go to work, and many of them are employed in the Twin Cities.

Here are some other statistics available from the St. Croix County Economic Dashboard for April 2013 developed by the UW-River Falls Center of Economic Research:

• Wisconsin has a total workforce of 2.8 million, including 24,068 in Dunn County; 45,221 in St. Croix County; 22,566 in Pierce County; and 21,566 in Polk County.

• Wisconsin employs 3,700 in mining and logging; 94,900 in construction; 459,700 in manufacturing; 510,600 in trade, transportation and utilities; 46,200 in information; 162,500 in financial activities; 294,400 in professional and business services; 419,700 in education and health services; 264,000 in leisure and hospitality; 136,400 in other services; 417,800 in government.

• Median home prices were $162,000 in St. Croix; $129,250 in Dunn; $164,000 in Pierce; and $77,500 in Polk.

• Number of homes sold in March included 109 in St. Croix; 46 in Dunn; 35 in Pierce; 60 in Polk.