Economic Indicators

Labor Participation



  • The labor force participation rate is the number of people working plus those unemployed and looking for work divided by the total population between 16 and 65.  In December of 2022, the national labor force participation was 62.3%.
  • Because the data are clustered fairly closely together, the vertical axis runs from 50% to 80%, which makes the declines in labor force participation in Wisconsin look more dramatic than they actually were; labor force participation fell from 69% to 66% between 2010 and 2022.
  • Except for Burnett County, the decrease in the labor force participation rate was not as dramatic as one would expect after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Labor force participation is well above the state average in Pierce and St. Croix counties, below the state average in Polk County, and well the state average in Burnett County.


  • Labor force participation in Minnesota as a whole was steady at about 70% over the 2010 to 2019 period, with a slight decline to around 69% in 2022.
  • Both Washington and Chisago counties have converged to the state average over time.


  • Labor force participation is relatively high in most jurisdictions; recall that the federal rate was 62.3% in December of 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Burnett County has a dramatically lower labor participation rate than the other counties in the St. Croix River Valley.

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