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United States / Analyst Insights
The Need for Local Economic Data – Wisconsin Edition

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by Vilan Trub
Aug 22 2018

Looking at IBISWorld’s recently released Wisconsin State Reports a clearer picture presents itself regarding the state’s current economic climate. To those with a business stake in their local community in Wisconsin, what stands out is that Gross Demotic Product is lagging behind the nation as a whole, with only an annualized (2012-17) 1.7% rise to reach $282.0 billion.

It’s important to understand the intricacies of state economies as industries never operate in isolation, and national figures are often a poor indicator of local trends. Local businesses, community bankers, accountants, and others who operate on the regional scale need access to specific data points and IBISWorld answered the call by having analysts filter through and interpret information to compile state-centric reports that help professionals make more informed business decisions.   

What’s in the Wisconsin State Reports?

In almost all figures Wisconsin is falling behind the nation as a whole and annualized growth in employment (2012-17) is at a bleak 1.1%. It’s important to look at employment in the Manufacturing sector, where employment is most concentrated, where the average annual growth (2012-17) was at only 0.6%.    

It’s not all bad news for the state though as unemployment declined from 7.0% to 3.3% between 2012-17.

Excerpt from report:

Compared with the US economy, Wisconsin has exhibited economic healthy trends. For example, Wisconsin’s housing starts are surpassing the national rate, increasing an annualized 10.1% over the five years to 2017, whereas US housing starts exhibited an annualized 9.0% increase during the same period. Additionally, Wisconsin has displayed a stronger decline in unemployment compared with the United States; Wisconsin’s unemployment declined an annualized 14.1%, whereas national unemployment declined an annualized 11.6%.

What else did we learn?

Top 5 Sectors with Declining Employment in WI

(Annualized Growth/Decline 2012-17)

  • Utilities -2.0%
  • Other services (except Public Administration) -0.8%
  • Public Administration -0.5%
  • Finance & Insurance -0.4%
  • Educational Services 0.1%


Looking at this information it’s easy to see the larger economic story unfolding. With a very weak growth in key sectors, employment growth is expected to slow as well. In such conditions it is expected that residential construction will decelerate. This highlights how no industry operates in isolation and what happens in one industry impacts others.     

Projected Economic Environment Growth in Wisconsin vs. National (2017-19*)

Gross Product

WI – 1.8%

US – 2.3%


WI – 0.6%

US – 1.0%


WI – 0.7%

US – 2.1%

Consumer Price Index

WI – 1.8%

US – 2.4%

*Annualized Rate


Access the Wisconsin State Reports to learn more about the current and forecasted economic conditions in The Centennial State.