Wisconsin manufacturing slips in Ball State report

State industry health rating down from B+ to B


The health of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry dipped slightly over the last year, according to the 2017 Conexus Indiana Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card produced by Ball State University researchers.


Wisconsin received a “B+” in 2016, putting the state in a tie for sixth with Alabama and Oregon. In the 2017 report, Wisconsin received a “B,” dropping it to a tie for eighth. Alabama also dropped to a “B” while Mississippi jumped ahead of both states.

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The top five states remained the same with Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and South Carolina all receiving “A” grades.

Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research uses three variables to measure manufacturing industry health including manufacturing employees’ share of total income, manufacturing wage premium and share of manufacturing employment per capita.

The categories in the report are chosen “as those most likely to be considered by site selection experts for manufacturing and logistics firms, and by the prevailing research on economic growth.” Each category is measured using a number of data points. States are then ranked with grades distributed according to a normal or bell curve distribution.

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Wisconsin’s grades improved in just one category, with tax climate moving from a “D” to a “C-.”

Expected fiscal liability gap, global reach, sector diversification and productivity and innovation all slipped slightly.

The grades for logistics, human capital and benefit costs were all unchanged.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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