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Wisconsin Budget Project and COWS | Jun 21, 2016
Category: COWS, State & Local Policy, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
The economy is growing again, but gains are concentrated on the state’s richest residents. As in the nation, inequality is on the rise. Over the last 40 years, Wisconsin’s richest residents have experienced dramatic increases in income, yet the rest of the state’s residents have experienced little or no income growth. The widening chasm between the very highest earners and everyone else poses hardships for Wisconsin’s families, businesses, and communities. Families can’t thrive when income growth is nearly non-existent for everyone except those at the top, and businesses need a strong middle class bolstered by broad-based income growth to generate customers. Wisconsin communities pay the price if too many families and businesses fail to prosper. Growing income inequality is also bad for Wisconsin’s economic growth. To build a solid, fast-growing economy, we need to make sure that Wisconsin has a healthy, well educated workforce. But if nearly all the gains from economic growth benefit only a few, many Wisconsin residents won’t have the resources they need to become the kind of skilled workers our economy needs for the future. That hurts everyone.
Joel Rogers | May 31, 2016
Category: COWS
CV
May 26, 2016
Category: COWS, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

Wisconsin’s dramatic March job growth was nearly erased by equally dramatic job losses in April, as the state lost nearly 13,000 jobs. The private sector lost 11,500 jobs and the public sector fell by a little more than 1,000. Manufacturing losses of 4,200 jobs were particularly severe. And in contrast to the overall decline, construction gained 3,500 jobs last month. All in all, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin dropped one tenth of a percentage point and stands now at 4.4%. Additionally, over the last year, Wisconsin’s job growth lags behind some of its Midwest neighbors: while Michigan and Indiana have grown at a pace of 2.5% and 1.6% respectively, Wisconsin has grown at a pace slower than 1.5%.

 

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Satya Rhodes-Conway, Laura Dresser, Mel Meder, and Mary Ebeling | May 23, 2016
Category: COWS, Jobs & Skills, State & Local Policy, High Road, Transportation
During the 20th Century, Pittsburgh was known for the steel industry and the broad middle class prosperity that was shared by many residents. Today, Pittsburgh is in the process of rebuilding its economy around new sectors, such as tech start-ups. The city has found some success in this economic transition, and the population has stabilized as highly educated tech workers move into trendy neighborhoods, but too many working people are being left behind. Residents worry about displacement from their homes and high housing costs, median income has stagnated, and racial disparities persist. The good news is that there are meaningful steps the Mayor and City Council can take to lead the city into an era of fair, inclusive, democratic and economically sustainable growth. Once again, Pittsburgh can become known for a broad middle class prosperity that is shared by many. This report provides recommendations and best practices models for how to take those steps. The vision presented in this report is one in which Pittsburgh is known as the city that rebuilt its economy into one of broadly shared prosperity and strong labor standards; with a housing market that meets the needs of long-term residents while also welcoming newcomers; that offers equitable, accessible and safe transportation choices that connect all residents to employment and other critical destinations; and that prioritizes strong community-police relations with historically marginalized communities of color and new immigrants to ensure Pittsburgh is a most livable city for all residents.
Joel Rogers | Apr 22, 2016
Category: High Road

What does “high road” mean?
Joel Rogers (1990)

First and foremost, “high road” (HR) denotes a family of strategies for human development under competitive market conditions that treat shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democracy as necessary complements, not tragic tradeoffs. READ MORE.

Apr 22, 2016
Category: Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy


Wisconsin’s labor market grew dramatically in March as nearly 16,000 jobs were added. This is a strong showing and reflect a very significant improvement in the opportunities in the state. The vast majority of new jobs were created in the private sector: private industries contributed about 15,600 jobs, while the public sector added just 300. The employment rate, which has been stable at 4.6% for a year, dropped one tenth of percentage points last month. The current unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 4.5%.

 

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Apr 08, 2016
Category: Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

Wisconsin added 7,200 jobs in February – one of the largest increases in number of jobs since October of 2015. Growth in February follows on the heels of good news in January as well (jobs up 7,200) and marks a strong start in 2016. Job growth was driven by expansion in the private sector, where 8,000 new jobs were created. (Roughly 800 government jobs were lost.) The unemployment rate held at 4.6% where it has been since mid-2015.

Apr 01, 2016
Category: Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
Wisconsin’s labor market stalled at the start of 2016, losing 200 jobs according to federal data. Job losses were concentrated in the private sector with two – manufacturing (down 400 jobs) and construction (down 1000) – accounting for the entire private sector decline. Public sector growth of 1,200 jobs largely offset the private sector losses. The state’s job base is growing but only slowly. Compared to a year ago, Wisconsin has 27,000 more jobs today -- growth of less than 1%. The number of jobs available now is just slightly higher than it was in December 2007, just before the Great Recession. Unemployment held steady at a 4.6%. Low unemployment rates imply greater labor market opportunity. There is some national evidence that those who had dropped out of the labor force are being tempted to rejoin it. Sustained low levels of unemployment make this dynamic more likely.

Laura Dresser and Mel Meder | Mar 03, 2016
Category: Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

Immigrants have been shaping Wisconsin’s economy since the state’s founding, and it is critical to ensure that today’s immigrants have access to the skills and education that will build shared prosperity and strengthen our economy into the future. This brief provides an overview of demographic trends among the immigrant population, and addresses pressing needs with regard to citizenship, language training, and access to higher education that prevent these working families from thriving economically. 

Jan 05, 2016
Category: COWS, State & Local Policy, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

After a substantial increase in jobs over September and October – Wisconsin added 17,000 jobs over those two months – the state lost 4800 jobs in November. November losses thus take away nearly one one-third of the jobs created in the previous months.

 

Over the course of 2015, Wisconsin has added roughly 20,000 jobs. Compared to employment before the recession began, Wisconsin is now consistently above the 2007 benchmark. Given populaion growth in the state since 2007, however, the labor market still falls well short of the level of opportunity provided in 2007. Wisconsin still needs another 106,000 jobs for labor market opportunity to have expanded enough to provide opportunity to the growing population. 

 

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