Passing Grade: Wisconsin Has Turned the Corner Economically, but Much Work Remains to Achieve Prosperity
by Tom Hefty, John Torinus
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
May 01, 2014
Although there has been a grudging improvement in Wisconsin’s economic performance since the Great Recession, due in part to a strategic focus on manufacturing, the state will not create 250,000 jobs by the end of 2014. Neither will Wisconsin be ranked as a top 10 state for business climate. Those goals, set out by Gov. Scott Walker in 2010, remain worthy. But they won’t be achieved. Even if some of the rust has been buffed off the Wisconsin economy, state leaders have hardly established a shiny new platform for prosperity. Where the state has made strategic investments, though, particularly in the legacy clusters for advanced manufacturing and agribusiness, we are getting prosperity payoffs. Wisconsin’s leaders have proved that a focused strategy can make Wisconsin a national front-runner in one key sector. Why not others?