Wisconsin’s economy

My Take


Republicans and Democrats have very different views of the Wisconsin economy and two recent news items highlighted their disagreement.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ranked Wisconsin in last place among larger states for startup activity.

But at the same time, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent, the lowest since February 2000.

Gov. Scott Walker took the occasion to talk up the performance of the state’s economy, while Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said the lack of startup activity in Wisconsin is troubling for the state’s economy.


Scott Walker


“We have worked hard since 2011 to get our state’s economy back on track, and (the unemployment rate) news is further evidence we are continuing to move Wisconsin forward.

“Our unemployment rate is down from 8.1 percent when we took office to 3.2 percent today. This is the lowest it’s been since February 2000, and the number of people in our workforce is at an all-time high. Our reforms are working and our future is bright, but there is more work left to do.

“Now is not the time to raise taxes on middle-class families. I call on members of the Legislature to stand with me and provide continued across-the-board tax relief for the hardworking people of our state so our economy can continue to thrive.”


Peter Barca

Assembly Democratic Leader

“For years, we’ve been trailing the rest of the country in entrepreneurship. This trend must end. We need to invest in our world-class universities—keys to the creation of new ideas and invention. We need to focus on workforce development and attracting investors to our state. Instead, we’ve had six years of Republican policies that have hurt Wisconsin families and slowed job growth.

“I’m calling for a special legislative session to find meaningful solutions to the lack of entrepreneurship in our state. As a (Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.) board member, I’m also asking that we address this at our next meeting. New businesses and innovation are crucial to our economy and the future of our state. Our current policies are simply not working.”

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