We advance research about community and economic development in Wisconsin and provide applied research, education, and assistance to individuals, local governments, and community organizations.

For over 50 years, we have provided research on the Wisconsin economy and central questions of community economic development. Our research focuses on better understanding regional economic change, innovation, labor markets, and economic resilience. We distribute our findings widely, sharing with policymakers, other researchers, public and private local practitioners, journalists, and, perhaps most importantly, Wisconsin residents.

We want Wisconsin residents to have reliable, high-quality, and relevant information in their hands as they make decisions for their communities. To support informed decision-making, we use research, our own and others, to develop educational curriculum, presentations, workshops, toolboxes, and technical assistance in support of our community partners and local organizations as they pursue economic well-being. Our goal is to identify proactive strategies to improve local economies and the quality of life in Wisconsin communities.


Our WIndicators publication is a frequent, short-form series that looks at data surrounding a range of issues relevant to Wisconsin communities.

The Wisconsin Economy

The Wisconsin Economy is a series of studies on key topics intended to inform decision-makers, economic development practitioners, and concerned citizens.

Economic Reports

We advance research about community and economic development in Wisconsin. Recently, research topics have included economic dynamism, pensions, retail and service trade areas, and the urban/rural divide.

Economic Summits

We bring together stakeholders from across the state, regions, or communities to examine research on issues critical to economic development. Meetings are held as in-services, summits, or forums, depending on the preference of the economic development partners.


We provide regular webinars free of charge and open to all. Our webinars cover a wide range of topics related to community economic development including approaches to research, theory, and practice.

Data Sources

We provide a quick and easy way to locate data sources and provide guidance on how to access, utilize, and apply these data to research questions related to community economic development.

Economic Planning & Preparedness

As a well-established area with over fifty years of research and programming, we engage local communities, counties, and regions in research and educational programming related to economic competitiveness and preparedness.

Our Work

2022 Northwoods Economic Development Summit
A Broader Vision of Quality of Life as Economic Development Policy
WIndicators Volume 5, Number 4: Returns to Higher Education
How to Utilize Data for Community Economic Development (Part II)
How to Access Data for Community Economic Development (Part I)
The Hotel Industry: Recovery and Future Development in Our Communities
The Rise Of Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic
WIndicators Volume 5, Number 3: Farm Household Income
Rural Innovation Report
Creative Economy Summit
WIndicators Volume 5, Number 1: The Rise Of Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic
Early Care and Education in Wisconsin: Challenges and Opportunities

Latest News & Updates

Pittsville Area Selected for State Pilot Program
Pandemic Fad or Here to Stay? Impacts of Remote Work on Employees, Businesses and Communities
Econ Quiz: Interest Rates
Extension, WEDC support economic development in rural communities
Yield Curve Continues to Flash Warning Signs
2022 Northwoods Economic Development Summit
Broadband Disparities Apparent in Many Regions of Wisconsin
Helping rural communities with economic development
Econ Quiz: Recession
Farming costs in Wisconsin were up 8 percent in 2021
More than half of Wisconsin farmers work away from the farm
‘We’re not the only people struggling’: Bayfield County moves forward on efforts to address housing shortage

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