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St. Croix County unemployment rates decrease

The unemployment rate across the region jumped upward in December but rates dropped in St. Croix and Pierce counties, according to Department of Workforce Development figures.

St. Croix County saw its unemployment rate drop to 4.7 percent in December, down from 4.9 percent in November.

In Pierce County the rate dropped just 0.1 percent to 4.5 percent in December.

Pierce and St. Croix counties were two of only four counties in the state to see their unemployment rates drop in December. The other two counties were Kenosha and Milwaukee. The state has 72 counties.

Polk County saw its unemployment rate jump up to 5.5 percent, up from 4.7 percent in November.

In Pepin County the rate jumped a full point in December to 5.2 percent.

The unemployment rate in Dunn County also jumped, but remains relatively low at just 4.3 percent.

The same is true for Eau Claire County which enjoys an unemployment rate of only 3.8 percent in December.

Chippewa County had the highest unemployment rate in the region for December at 5.6 percent, up from 4.4 percent the previous month.

Overall the state's unemployment rate was at 4.5 percent in December with 18,400 jobs being added in the state.

Because of seasonal slowdowns in the construction and agricultural industries unemployment rates typically increase during the winter months, according to DWD officials.

DWD reported that the biggest job gains were in the service industries, but strong job gains were also seen in the professional and business services industry.