WIndicators Volume 5, Number 1: The Rise Of Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic

OVERVIEW Entrepreneurial activity increased sharply in Wisconsin in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurship is a key part of any healthy economy but ensuring that new business activity leads to significant economic impact by creating high quality jobs can be difficult. Communities can take a lead role in a range of strategies that […]

WIndicators Volume 4, Number 3: Seasonal and Recreational Housing Units in Wisconsin

OVERVIEW The development of seasonal and recreational housing units in Wisconsin reflects the economic transitions of many counties that were formerly dependent on natural resource extraction to a current reliance on services, hospitality, and recreation. With these transformations also come regional opportunities and challenges related to the growth of seasonal and recreational housing. KEY POINTS […]

WIndicators Volume 4, Number 2: Nonemployer Businesses & Diversity

Nonemployer establishments, sole proprietorships and partnerships without any paid employees, are an important part of the country’s economy. As of 2018, they made up a large and quickly growing share of businesses in the United States at 77% of the total while the other 23% of establishments were employer businesses [1]. Given that nonemployer establishments […]

WIndicators Volume 4, Number 1: Taxes and Economic Growth & Development

When one thinks about the term “business climate”, factors such as taxes, regulations, and unionization come to mind. These items tend to be viewed as potential costs that businesses face when making investment decisions. Anything that is viewed as increasing the costs of business operations is considered bad for the business climate of a community […]

WIndicators Volume 3, Number 5: Are the Kids Alright? Women, Work, & Childcare

Childcare was a challenge for parents before the pandemic and has only become more difficult in recent months. During the pandemic, as much as 60% of childcare providers closed and stopped providing childcare (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2020). While many of those closures were temporary, a recent state-level study estimates that, in absence of additional aid, […]

WIndicators Volume 3, Number 4: Impact of COVID-19 on the Wisconsin Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Wisconsin’s economy. When the country reported the first case on January 20th, 2020, there was uncertainty as to how fast and far the virus would spread. On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and on March 16th all Wisconsin public schools were ordered to close while […]

WIndicators Volume 3, Number 3: COVID-19 Vulnerable Business Owners by Race & Ethnicity

Recent analysis demonstrates that communities of color are disproportionately suffering the health impacts of COVID-19. In Milwaukee County, 29 percent of the population is Black or African American yet Black or African Americans represent 43 percent of COVID-19-related deaths1. Much like the poor health outcomes from COVID-19 are disproportionately suffered by people of color, the […]

WIndicators Volume 3, Number 2: Broadband in Economic Development

The Safer-At-Home order by Governor Evers put into effect starting March 25, 2020 in response to COVID-19 has drawn attention to the lack of adequate broadband in many parts of Wisconsin. As many employees work from home, students take their courses online, patients seek care through telehealth, and families entertain themselves at home with streaming […]

WIndicators Volume 3, Number 1: Student Loan Debt: A Challenge for Wisconsin?

The growth in student debt in the United States has become a cause for concern. At the beginning of 2006, student debt, or loans taken out to pursue higher educational opportunities, was approximately $481 billion. By the beginning of 2019, that amount has grown to nearly $1.6 trillion (Figure 1a). While student loan debt remains […]

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 7: Social Capital in Wisconsin

Numerous communities across Wisconsin encourage and support resident participation in local initiatives. These are places with high volunteerism rates where members can undertake constructive conversations about issues facing the community. Newcomers, along with their ideas and input, are welcomed. Sometimes, it is said that these communities have high levels of “social capital”.

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 6: Business Expansions in Wisconsin: Part 2

In recent decades, significant resources have been devoted to entrepreneurship, and studies find net annual job creation is positive only for startups (Economic Innovation Group, 2017; Conroy and Deller, 2015). As a result, growth potential of existing firms is sometimes overlooked. Expansions, existing firms adding jobs, create 75% of gross new employment (Figure 1). Existing […]

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 5: The Competitiveness of the Wisconsin Economy

Patterns of uneven economic growth and development across the U.S. have been well established in the popular press and academic literature. Some states, such as Mississippi, Alabama and New Mexico, continue to experience higher rates of poverty, lower rates of worker productivity, and modest income growth. Other states, such as Arizona, Colorado and Massachusetts, are […]

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