Unemployment

Recently the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary August 2021 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 34 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. Polk County’s August rate was estimated at 3.6%, which is barely down from July’s final rate of 3.7%. Things are looking up as one year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.5%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates declined or stayed the same from July to August in all 72 counties and declined or stayed the same in all 60 of 72 counties year-over-year. The rates ranged from 2.7% in Lafayette County to 12.3% in Menominee County.

Polk, Pierce, and St. Croix counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to Polk’s rate of 3.6%, August’s preliminary rate in Pierce was 3.3% and St. Croix’s rate was 3.3%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The August 2021 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 3.5%, which is the same as July’s final rate but lower than June’s final rate of 4.5%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 7.8% in August 2020.

The five Wisconsin counties with the lowest unemployment rates in August include Lafayette (2.7%), Taylor (also at 2.7%); Calumet (3.0%); Green (also at 3.0%); and Kewaunee (also at 3.0%). Menominee County had the highest rate in August at 12.3%, followed by Forest (6.6%), Iron (6.2%), Milwaukee (6.1%), and Adams (also at 6.1%).

Preliminary unemployment rates declined from July to August in 27 of Wisconsin’s 34 largest cities and declined or stayed the same in all of the largest cities year-over-year. Rates ranged from 3.1% in Madison to 7.3% in Milwaukee.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in August was estimated at 3.9%, matching the final rates for both July and June. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 6.1%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in August was estimated at 3.8%, which is lower than July’s final rate of 3.9% and June’s final rate of 4.0%. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 6.6%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for August was estimated at 5.2%, which is lower than July’s final rate of 5.4% and June’s final rate of 5.9%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 8.4%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for August was estimated at 66.5%, which is higher than July’s final rate of 66.4% and June’s final rate of 66.3%. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was also 65.5%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in August was estimated at 61.7%, which is the same as July’s final rate but higher than June’s final rate of 61.6%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was also 61.7%.

August’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few we

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