GMF provides the Vital Signs of our community

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has made a new online resource for measuring the economic health of metropolitan Milwaukee available for the community. Vital Signs tracks and provides analysis for unemployment, food stamp usage, foreclosure filings and W-2 payment cases in the four county area. The service will also provide information on calls made to 211@Impact for food assistance and shelter in Milwaukee County.

“Through our grantmaking process, we are well aware of the continuing, and in some cases the growing need the economic downturn is causing throughout all of metropolitan Milwaukee,” said foundation president Doug Jansson. “We may all be familiar with the statistics, but don’t understand the impact on our neighbors and communities. Vital Signs can help us understand what the facts and figures mean, as well as provide information about programs that are successfully addressing the issues facing us and ways people can help.”

Data is collected and analyzed monthly by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute. The information is then posted on the foundation’s website on or about the middle of each month. In addition to providing the data in six key areas of economic health, Vital Signs also provides in-depth analysis on one key topic each month through interviews with local experts.

“We fully expect that Vital Signs will become a primary source of information for individuals and organizations who want to understand the human impact of current economic conditions in the greater Milwaukee area,” said Marcus White, the foundation’s director of community partnerships. “Our convenient online access, easy-to-read charts, and comprehensive analysis create a valuable tool for the community.”

The foundation is also partnering with WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, which will provide additional analysis of the findings each month through its on-air and online reporting.

Vital Signs can be found on the foundation’s homepage:, and does not require the user to login to view the information.

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