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

WIndicators Volume 5, Number 1: The Rise Of Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic
Early Care and Education in Wisconsin: Challenges and Opportunities
WIndicators Volume 4, Number 3: Seasonal and Recreational Housing Units in Wisconsin
2022 Wisconsin Rural Economic Summit
Cooperation for Community Economic Development
Bringing Back Downtown Retail After COVID-19
August 25, 2021, Lunch N Learn: Entrepreneurship 101 (Part 3)
August 18, 2021, Lunch N Learn: Entrepreneurship 101 (Part 2)
August 11, 2021, Lunch N Learn: Entrepreneurship 101 (Part 1)
July 15, 2021, Lunch N Learn: We Are the Economy
WIndicators Volume 4, Number 2: Nonemployer Businesses & Diversity
May 26, 2021, Lunch N Learn: 4th Wave of Economic Development

Latest News & Updates

Engineering, computer science, technology graduates are in high demand
The Rise Of Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic
As pandemic changes become permanent, some rural communities are booming
UW-Extension report spotlights various measures of inflation
The Future of Restaurants in Your Community
All Measures of Inflation are Showing Rising Prices
UW-Madison professor on rising inflation, impacts on consumers
Pandemic triggers record spike in Wisconsin entrepreneurship
Econ Quiz: Escape to Wisconsin
Is the United States headed to a recession? Key indicators and factors to look out for
Capitol Report: Roaring state economy presents some worries
Experts say housing market “not likely” to burst

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