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 services, access to broadband has become all the more apparent and the impacts more significant. Without access to adequate broadband service, employees find it difficult to work.

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 smaller than consumer credit debt ($4.1 trillion) or mortgage debt ($15.5 trillion), the rate of growth of student debt is alarming.

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

August 2019 — 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 […]

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

July 2019 — 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 […]

WIndicators Volume 2, Number 4: Business Expansions in Wisconsin

June 2019 — 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 […]

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

December 2018 — 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, […]

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

October 2018 — 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 […]

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

July 2018 — 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 […]

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

March 2018 — 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 […]

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