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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 Governor Tony Evers instituted a Safer-at-Home order and closure of all non-essential businesses.

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 economic costs are likely also inequitably distributed across racial and ethnic groups.

A Trade Analysis of Wisconsin Retail and Service Markets: Updated for 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY May 2020 — Using 2019 county sales tax data, we examine the strength and weaknesses of Wisconsin retail and service markets through the application of the tools of Trade Area Analysis. Only those counties that have elected to collect the optional county sales tax are included in the analysis. Because sales tax data […]

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 […]

The Contributions of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy: An Update for 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY October 2019 — This study provides an update of the Contribution of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy undertaken by Deller (2014) using data for 2017, the most current available. Despite currently weak commodity prices, particularly within dairy, agriculture (defined to include on-farm activities, food processing,  forestry and horticulture) remains an important part of […]

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