UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Economic Indicators

The United States' economy has been slowly recovering from a deep and prolonged recession in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Unemployment was greater than 9% during this recessionary period and has fallen to under 5% as of late 2016.  Further the structure of the U.S. economy has been shifting over time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between January of 2001 and January of 2016, employment in manufacturing declined by about 28% (from 17.1 million to 12.3 million).  In contrast, the same source reports service sector jobs actually expanded 14.3% over this period, growing from 108.1 million to 123.6 million jobs.  Minnesota and Wisconsin have lost manufacturing jobs somewhat more slowly (Minnesota is down about 24%, and Wisconsin is down 19% over the January 2001 – January 2016 period) and gained service sector jobs at a rate comparable to or slightly below the national average.

The economies of counties in the St. Croix River valley have also suffered during the "Great Recession."  Unemployment in the region has declined after peaking 2009, though it tends to be lower than the national average.  Counties (Chisago and Polk) further from the Twin Cities experienced a sharper economic downturn than those closer to the metro area.  More than 4 out of 5 jobs in the St. Croix River valley counties are supplied by the private sector.