Bill Rubin/Jacki Bradham
St. Croix EDC
The UW- River Falls Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has released the March 2011 edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard. The dashboard presents a snapshot of the economic condition of the labor, consumer and housing markets in the three county area. It presents the latest available data in one convenient package and can be viewed on the CER’s website at http://www.uwrf.edu/cer.
Dr. Logan Kelly, director of the CER, conducts the research for the Dashboard project and offered his observations. “The labor market is the big story in the March dashboard. The labor market in the St. Croix Valley exhibited some troubling signs in January (note that county level labor market data is always two months behind). While we saw a decrease in the unemployment rate from January 2010, total employment has decreased. Thus the decrease in the unemployment rate was caused by people leaving the labor market and not by people finding jobs. This is a contrast to total employment at the state level, which increased from one year ago. During the last twelve months, though, the labor market has been slowly recovering, so the setback indicated by January’s data may only be temporary.”
“Consumer confidence can tell a great deal about economic conditions,” said William Rubin, executive director of SCEDC. “County sales tax revenue for the 3-county region is down from one month ago and one year ago. Our residents, as consumers, appear to be spending less on taxable goods. Median home prices for recently-sold properties still reflect a difficult market,” he added.
St. Croix, Polk, and Pierce counties comprise Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley. 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 March 2011 edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard, contact Dr. Logan Kelly at [email protected] or (715) 425-4993 or William Rubin at [email protected] or (715) 381-4383.