Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

Since 2010, the U.S. economy has experienced some dramatic swings. The decade began in a slow recovery from a very deep recession during which unemployment topped 9%.  Unemployment consistently declined from 2010 to 2019, when unemployment was only 3.7%.  Though the data are not available for the indicators presented here, jobs in 2020 and 2021 experienced a major decline brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the number of manufacturing jobs expanded by 11% between 2010 and 2019, the service sector grew more rapidly (jobs were up 15% over this time period) and it accounts for more than 10 times as many jobs (12.8 million manufacturing sector jobs in 2019 vs. 129.9 million in the service sector).

Manufacturing jobs in Minnesota (+11%) and Wisconsin (+12%) increased at a rate similar to the U.S. average.  In contrast, service sector jobs expanded more slowly than the national average in Minnesota (+12%) and Wisconsin (+8%) between 2010 and 2019.

In terms of the St. Croix River Valley counties:

  • Unemployment has followed state trends but, surprisingly, most counties had slightly higher rates of unemployment than their respective state in 2019.
  • The labor force participation rate has been trending downward.
  • A majority have slightly higher proportions of their workforce employed in the public sector.
  • The percent of the workforce employed in manufacturing has expanded in the Wisconsin counties and has been flat in those in Minnesota.
  • The percent of the workforce employed in the service sector employment has been flat in these counties.
  • The proportion of the workforce with less than a high school diploma has been falling and is below the respective state averages.