Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Report from the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS): State of Working Wisconsin 2012

From the reverse side of the cover page.  The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) is a nonprofit think-and-do tank, based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, that promotes high road solutions to social problems. These treat shared growth and opportunity, environmental sustainability, and resilient democratic institutions as necessary and achievable complements in human development. COWS is nonpartisan but values-based. We seek a world of equal opportunity and security for all.

Executive summary (in bullet points)
  • Wisconsin Jobs:  Massive Deficit
    • Devastated job market as a result of 2007 recession/Anemic recovery
    • Job numbers
      • 2,880,000 in December 2007
      • 2,720,000 in July 2012
      • Jobs deficit:  245,900, factoring in job losses and population growth
    • Wisconsin's lagging jobs growth in 2011
      • Regionally, nationally
      • On the contention over job numbers:  ....using any source of data our job market is a national and regional laggard.
  • Family Income: A Lost Decade

  • Unemployment Remains High
    • Doubled from 2000 to 2011
    • "Fully" employed from 94% to 87% (see pie graph on page 2)
    • % unemployed for 6+ months tripled
    • 25% of workers age 16-24 are unemployed or underemployed
  • Black Prospects Bleak, Worst Unemployment in Nation
    • 25% African-American unemployment rate in 2011
    • Median wage for black men and women more than $2.00 below state's median wage
  • Manufacturing Still a Source of  Growth but Still Brutally Down Across the Decade
    • Number of jobs declined from 600,000 in 2000 to 450,000 in 2011.

  • Wisconsin Wages:  Weak Growth, Inequality (from page 3)

  • Poverty Wage Jobs
    • 1 in 5 Wisconsin workers in this category (less than $10.97/hour)
    • 23% of poverty-wage jobholders receive health care from employers (vs. 63% in higher-paying jobs.
    • Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Find.  (The New York Times, August 30, 2012)

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