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 […]

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 4: Business Expansions in Wisconsin

Much attention has been paid to the role of entrepreneurship as a source of job creation in recent years. While this is warranted, expansions of existing businesses are also inseparable from job creation and economic growth. In terms of gross job creation, firm expansions contribute a significantly higher number of jobs than startups. Business expansion […]

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 2: Childcare as an Economic Development Strategy

With unemployment rates at historical lows and many employers having difficulty finding workers to fill their open positions, policymakers and employers alike are looking for available labor. In Wisconsin, the labor force participation rate is already well above the national average. Given the age structure and historical trends identified by Kures, Deller, and Conroy 2018 […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 2: Minority Business Owners and the Wisconsin Economy

The importance of small business development and entrepreneurship to the future health of the economy is becoming more widely understood and accepted across Wisconsin. Wisconsin focused research (Conroy and Deller 2015a) has documented that nearly all of the net job growth (expansions minus contractions) comes from start-up businesses, which tend to be small. Since 2005 […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 7: Labor Participation Trends in Wisconsin

As Wisconsin’s unemployment rate moves to record lows, many companies have expressed frustration that they cannot find the workers they need. Some employers, workforce development organizations and policy makers attribute the lack of suitable employees to issues surrounding labor quality. Specifically, potential workers may not have the specific skills desired by employees or lack so-called […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 6: Wisconsin and Foreign Exports

“So unorthodox is the latest batch of demands, introduced only during the latest round of talks, that some question whether the Trump administration is negotiating in good faith. Mr Lighthizer claims to be trying to please only his boss, Mr Trump. But Congress must pass the final deal. This is topsy-turvy. Normally, in America’s trade […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 5: Labor Shortage: Signs and Symptoms

In Wisconsin, the labor market has been the focus of recent public and political discourse, with many perceiving a labor shortage. Often these discussions focus on the experience voiced by employers throughout the state. While the frustration of employers trying to hire workers is an important sign that there could be a labor issue, there […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 4: Housing Issues Affecting Wisconsin

Housing is becoming an issue in Wisconsin. Housing prices are growing while new additions to the housing stock appear to be lagging. As other parts of the U.S. have serious issues related to housing stress (defined as income to housing cost ratios), Wisconsin may also be starting to show signs as well. As the Wisconsin […]

WIndicators Volume 1, Number 3: Wisconsin Entrepreneurship and Population Dynamics

Economists have long known that entrepreneurship in the form of business start-ups is vital to a vibrant and strong economy (Conroy and Deller, 2015). Wisconsin, however, tends to compare unfavorably to other states in terms of entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation has been monitoring entrepreneurial activity for a number of years and their most current analysis […]

WIndicator Volume 1, Number 2: Occupation and Employment Trends in the Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing Industry

Electronic component manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) recently announced its intention to build a $10 billion manufacturing campus. As the facility initially expects to employ 3,000 workers, with the potential to expand up to 13,000 employees, its magnitude generates both intense excitement and uncertainty. For instance, a number of questions surround the types of jobs […]

WIndicator Volume 1, Number 1: Rising Income Inequality and Wisconsin

Between the end of WWII and the 1970s, a growing middle class narrowed the income gap. But over the past 30 years, economists have become increasingly aware of and concerned about rising income inequality. The causes and consequences of this trend have been the focus of countless academic studies, but rising income inequality has now […]

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