Monday, September 12, 2011

September St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard Released

The UW- River Falls Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has released the September 2011 edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard. The dashboard is a snapshot of the economic condition of the labor, consumer and housing markets in the three county St. Croix Valley. It presents the latest available data* in one convenient package and can be viewed on the CER's website at

The economic recovery seems to be stumbling. The national economy created zero net new jobs in August ’11, but the unemployment rate held at 9.1%.  At the state level in Wisconsin, the unemployment rate for July ’11 was 7.8% up 0.2 percentage points from June ’11 but down 0.4 percentage points from one year previous. More troubling than the increase in the unemployment rate is the loss of 8,200 jobs in July and the downward revision of the number of jobs created in June by 1,500. On top of that, the Philadelphia Fed’s Leading Indicator is current projecting that the Wisconsin Economy will grow by less than one present over the next six months. Overall, the September dashboard is indicating that we may be entering a new recession. 

The unemployment rate in the St. Croix Valley continues to be below the average unemployment rate in the state. July ’11 unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, which is down slightly from one year previous. However, both total employment and labor force decreased during July suggesting renewed weakness in the local labor market.
Spending in the Valley, as measured by sales tax revenue, remained strong though. Sales tax revenue collected in August increased by 15.6% from one year previous, and new vehicle registrations increased by 20.1% from for one year ago. These metrics represent the most optimistic indicators this month. The housing market is still showing significant weakness.  Median home price is still below median price this time last year.

Wisconsin's St. Croix Valley is comprised of St. Croix, Polk, and Pierce counties. All three counties are located along the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Two of the three counties, St. Croix and Pierce, are included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metropolitan area, a 13-county region with of population of 3.25 million residents. For additional information on the September edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard, contact Dr. Logan Kelly at or (715) 425-4993 or William Rubin at or (715) 381-4383.

*Please note that most regional data is available with between a one and two month delay, thus the current month's dashboard will have data from previous months.

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