Economy


In the Dark on Student Debt

Education

In the Dark on Student Debt

A January report from the UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development identifies a correlation between student debt trends having a negative impact on local economies, using the corresponding rise in student debt with declining rates of homeownership and business start-ups.

February 13, 2020

economy

Latest Stories

Foxconn Contract to be Renegotiated?
Foxconn Contract to be Renegotiated?

Politics

Foxconn Contract to be Renegotiated?

State Secretary of Administration Joel Brennan breaks down the current status of Wisconsin's Foxconn contract. Newly released correspondence between Foxconn, Gov. Evers’ Administration and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation show growing conflict over the Taiwanese company’s ability to collect public tax subsidies.

December 20, 2019 • Southeast Region

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s High Paying Jobs Growing
Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s High Paying Jobs Growing

Economy

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s High Paying Jobs Growing

High paying jobs in Wisconsin are on the rise, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. We’re speaking with the report’s author, Joe Peterangelo, about the state’s overall trends, how the metro areas are growing and what’s happening with high- and low-wage jobs.

December 11, 2019

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Project Aims To Raise Middle Class
Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Project Aims To Raise Middle Class

Economy

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Project Aims To Raise Middle Class

Bridgit Van Bellegham talks about DreamUp Wisconsin setting a goal of raising the net income of 10,000 households by 10 percent by the end of 2022. The project has solicited requests for proposals aimed at achieving that goal, which could be funded up to $1 million, and include ideas centered around childcare, health, transportation, legal services, transportation, student loan debt and more.

December 4, 2019 • South Central Region

The Economic State of Farming
The Economic State of Farming

Agriculture

The Economic State of Farming

U.S. and State Department of Agriculture Secretaries Sonny Perdue and Brad Pfaff both give their perspectives on the state of small dairy farmers and the industry as a whole. With extreme weather, low prices and uncertainty in foreign trade, Pfaff explains that Wisconsin farmers have been hit with a “triple whammy” of unfortunate events.

December 4, 2019 • West Central Region

New Study Says Foxconn Could Depress the State Economy
New Study Says Foxconn Could Depress the State Economy

Economy

New Study Says Foxconn Could Depress the State Economy

According to a new special study by economists at George Mason University in Virginia, Foxconn could depress the state economic activity by tens of billions of dollars over the next 15 years. Michael Farren, a George Mason University researcher, talks about the new study and the economic risks that it reveals.

December 4, 2019 • Northeast Region

African American Alliance Fosters Upward Mobility
African American Alliance Fosters Upward Mobility

Economy

African American Alliance Fosters Upward Mobility

According to studies, there are significant disparities between black and white people in the way of income, unemployment and homeownership in Wisconsin. The African American Leadership Alliance In Milwaukee (AALAM) actively seeks solutions, including developing and supporting African American leaders. Former State Assemblymember Antonio Riley talks about the newly formed alliance.

November 29, 2019 • Southeast Region

Noon Wednesday: WI Cities Rank Worst For African Americans
Noon Wednesday: WI Cities Rank Worst For African Americans

Social Issues

Noon Wednesday: WI Cities Rank Worst For African Americans

Milwaukee and Racine have been ranked the first and second worst places for African Americans to live in the country, according to a recent report from 24/7 Wall St. However, this isn’t the first time these two cities have made similar lists. UW-Madison Associate Professor of Sociology John Eason joins us to help give context to these rankings.

November 20, 2019

Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng
Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng

Agriculture

Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng

Ongoing trade disputes with China impact many Wisconsin industries, including ginseng producers. Wausau area farm owner Will Hsu describes how he’s navigating the turmoil in the market, and talks about his optimism for this year’s crop.

October 25, 2019 • West Central Region

New WEDC CEO Talks Foxconn, Agency Priorities
New WEDC CEO Talks Foxconn, Agency Priorities

Economy

New WEDC CEO Talks Foxconn, Agency Priorities

With new leadership at the head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the agency’s new CEO Missy Hughes discusses the future of projects like Foxconn and other top priorities.

October 25, 2019 • Southeast Region

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s Right-To-Farm
Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s Right-To-Farm

Agriculture

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin’s Right-To-Farm

Wisconsin has a law on its books making it difficult to bring nuisance lawsuits against farmers. But as farms expand in size, the conflicts amongst neighbors grow as well. We’re talking to Will Cushman from WisContext about Wisconsin’s “right-to-farm” laws and debates over how to regulate these growing farms.

October 23, 2019 • South Central Region

Noon Wednesday: How We Got Off-Track
Noon Wednesday: How We Got Off-Track

Politics

Noon Wednesday: How We Got Off-Track

Building a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee was a proposal that reached the end of its line but the topic still divides people. Special projects reporter Bridgit Bowden is talking to us about “Derailed,” a new podcast from Wisconsin Public Radio that goes full-steam into the history of the line and what it says about our state.

October 16, 2019 • Southeast Region

Noon Wednesday: Where’s the Disconnect?
Noon Wednesday: Where’s the Disconnect?

Economy

Noon Wednesday: Where’s the Disconnect?

A lack of internet connection still impacts more than 17% of households across Wisconsin, creating digital inequities that impact students and communities as a whole. Bill Herman, a broadband consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction joins us to discuss these gaps and where schools are finding solutions.

October 9, 2019 • South Central Region

Controversy In The Air: Military F-35 May Land in Madison
Controversy In The Air: Military F-35 May Land in Madison

Economy

Controversy In The Air: Military F-35 May Land in Madison

In tonight’s closer look, the U.S. Air Force is deciding whether to choose Madison’s Truax Field as a location for its F-35 fighter jets. Truax is home to the Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing and its current complement of F-16 aircraft.

September 27, 2019 • South Central Region

Foxconn Road Plans Jeopardize Homeowners' Land
Foxconn Road Plans Jeopardize Homeowners' Land

Economy

Foxconn Road Plans Jeopardize Homeowners’ Land

WPR reporter Corrinne Hess discusses the rift between Foxconn and home and property owners in Mt. Pleasant. The company has taken a major toll on locals who have sold their property to accommodate plans for a new road. Hess reported that the land acquisitions began this spring. Many property owners are worried that more of their land may be taken to make space for the company’s plans.

September 6, 2019 • Southeast Region

‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm
‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm

Agriculture

‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm

A new bill by Senator Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, aims to make it easier for families to pass down farms to future generations. The bill is apart of the “Our Farms, Our Future” bill package which will tackle a number of issues that Wisconsin farmers face. Other bills in the package will address student loan debt and a diversity grant program.

September 6, 2019 • West Central Region

COWS Releases 2019 State of Working Wisconsin
COWS Releases 2019 State of Working Wisconsin

Economy

COWS Releases 2019 State of Working Wisconsin

UW Center on Wisconsin Strategy Associate Director Laura Dresser breaks down the 2019 State of Working Wisconsin report. The annual overview looks at the issues workers face just in time for Labor Day. This year’s report focuses on long-term issues such as wage stagnation.

August 30, 2019

The High Cost of Insulin
The High Cost of Insulin

Health

The High Cost of Insulin

While the cost of insulin surges many diabetes patients are left to foot excessively high bills. A profile on a Wisconsin woman expands on her financial challenge to afford her own diabetes medicine. A spokesperson from the American Diabetes Association, Dr. LaShawn McIver, adds further context to the pressing matter.

August 30, 2019

WEDC CEO Mark Hogan Steps Down
WEDC CEO Mark Hogan Steps Down

Economy

WEDC CEO Mark Hogan Steps Down

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan will step down next week. Due to lame duck laws, Gov. Tony Evers is not authorized to appoint his replacement until Sept. During Hogan’s time as the head of WEDC, he became instrumental in securing the Foxconn deal. Evers is now considering a successor to lead the job creation agency.

August 30, 2019

Transportation Sec-Desig. Breaks Down Funding After Flooding
Transportation Sec-Desig. Breaks Down Funding After Flooding

Economy

Transportation Sec-Desig. Breaks Down Funding After Flooding

With the issue of transportation funding at the forefront of this most recent budget cycle, funding for local projects received a $66 million boost over the biennium. Transportation Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson talks about the need for local road funding and how the state approaches rebuilding infrastructure after major flooding events.

August 16, 2019

Sawyer Co. Feels Effect of Floods: “It Comes In Everywhere”
Sawyer Co. Feels Effect of Floods: “It Comes In Everywhere”

Environment

Sawyer Co. Feels Effect of Floods: “It Comes In Everywhere”

While the policy debate over climate change and efforts to mitigate flooding continue at the state and federal level, Here & Now’s Zac Schultz talks to those in Sawyer County who are impacted by washed out roads and water in their basements.

August 16, 2019 • Northern Region

New Bill Could Avoid Rebuilding “The Same Job Twice”
New Bill Could Avoid Rebuilding “The Same Job Twice”

Economy

New Bill Could Avoid Rebuilding “The Same Job Twice”

A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, would allow municipalities to make road improvements while spending federal aid to rebuild after a disaster. Bayfield County Highway Commissioner Paul Johanik says this would help counties get ahead of future flooding events. “It doesn’t make sense to do the same job twice,” he says.

August 16, 2019

Will Cushman Reports on Washed Out Northern Wis.
Will Cushman Reports on Washed Out Northern Wis.

Agriculture

Will Cushman Reports on Washed Out Northern Wis.

With northern Wisconsin facing washed out roads in recent flooding events, WisContext’s Will Cushman traveled the region to understand what happened and what is happening in the future to help. He reports on what he saw, saying some areas face tens of millions of dollars in damage to public infrastructure alone.

August 16, 2019

Economics of Tax Credits for Foxconn Jobs
Economics of Tax Credits for Foxconn Jobs

Economy

Economics of Tax Credits for Foxconn Jobs

A new economic study looks into the economic impact that Foxconn’s promised 13,000 jobs would bring to the state, suggesting Wisconsin could pay upwards of $290,000 in tax credits per job. The study’s author Tim Bartik, senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, says that Wisconsin could still face high costs even if it re-negotiates the contract.

August 9, 2019

Preview: How Northwestern Wisconsin Grapples with Flooding
Preview: How Northwestern Wisconsin Grapples with Flooding

Environment

Preview: How Northwestern Wisconsin Grapples with Flooding

In northwest Wisconsin, 500-year flooding events are becoming more common and causing millions of dollars worth of damage as they happen. A preview of Zac Schultz’s reporting on how residents are coping with the high water.

August 9, 2019

Sec.-Des. Meaney on Tourism, Office of Outdoor Recreation
Sec.-Des. Meaney on Tourism, Office of Outdoor Recreation

Economy

Sec.-Des. Meaney on Tourism, Office of Outdoor Recreation

In continuing conversations with Gov. Tony Evers’ cabinet secretaries, Zac Schultz sits down with Tourism Sec.-Designee Sara Meaney. She says that tourism is the state’s third-largest industry, which can drive economic growth as well as be a promotional activity. She adds that reaching out to a diverse group of is something the department “need[s] to do intentionally, and with eyes wide open.”

August 2, 2019

Other States Share Concern Over Wisconsin Power Line
Other States Share Concern Over Wisconsin Power Line

Economy

Other States Share Concern Over Wisconsin Power Line

As the Wisconsin Public Service Commission considers the proposal for a power line connection Iowa with the Madison area, attorneys general from Illinois and Michigan weigh in.

July 26, 2019

PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line
PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line

Environment

PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line

Residents of southwestern Wisconsin voice concerns over a proposed high-voltage power line that would stretch from Iowa to just west of Madison. Student journalist Will Kenneally reports on the Public Service Commission’s upcoming decision on whether the line is necessary for Wisconsin’s energy infrastructure.

July 19, 2019 • West Central Region

Evers Discusses Budget, Marijuana, Redistricting
Evers Discusses Budget, Marijuana, Redistricting

Budgets

Evers Discusses Budget, Marijuana, Redistricting

Gov. Tony Evers signed his first budget into law, calling it a down payment on ‘the people’s budget’ while making some line-item vetoes to increase education funding. He discusses how he vetoed more education funding into the budget and what his legislative priorities are moving forward.

July 12, 2019

Efforts to Mandate CWD Testing in Parts of Wisconsin
Efforts to Mandate CWD Testing in Parts of Wisconsin

Environment

Efforts to Mandate CWD Testing in Parts of Wisconsin

An advisory group is pushing for mandatory CWD testing in parts of western Wisconsin.

July 12, 2019

Court Appointed Lawyers to Get Raise
Court Appointed Lawyers to Get Raise

Budgets

Court Appointed Lawyers to Get Raise

Wisconsin courts have suffered from a dearth of attorneys to hire when public defenders are unavailable, but there is hope that a budget measure to hike the pay for these attorneys will address the shortage. Chief Justice Pat Roggensack says the pay raise for these attorneys is “absolutely critical,” adding that Wisconsin needs “qualified lawyers for those who can’t afford to pay.”

May 31, 2019

Brakes on Hop 2020 Expansion for Now
Brakes on Hop 2020 Expansion for Now

Elections

Brakes on Hop 2020 Expansion for Now

As Milwaukee gets ready to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, some city officials are pushing to extend the streetcar line to reach the convention site. A committee vote this week tables the expansion for now, putting into question whether the expansion could be finished by next summer.

May 24, 2019 • Southeast Region

Trade Talks Lead to Farmer Uncertainty
Trade Talks Lead to Farmer Uncertainty

Agriculture

Trade Talks Lead to Farmer Uncertainty

The ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China raise concerns over the export market for Wisconsin farmers. President of the Wisconsin Farmer’s Union Darin Von Ruden discusses how farmers navigate low commodity prices on top of the trade uncertainty. He says that even a short term instability in the market can have a long term effect on the relationships between producers and buyers.

May 17, 2019

Evers Pushes for Foxconn Renegotiation
Evers Pushes for Foxconn Renegotiation

Economy

Evers Pushes for Foxconn Renegotiation

Gov. Tony Evers announces he would like to renegotiate the state’s contract with Foxconn, drawing ire from state Republicans. Bejing-based economics commentator Einar Tangen speaks to the wisconsin developments.

April 19, 2019

How Can Farmers Adapt to Falling Milk Prices?
How Can Farmers Adapt to Falling Milk Prices?

Agriculture

How Can Farmers Adapt to Falling Milk Prices?

WisContext reporter Will Cushman delves into what declining milk prices mean for Wisconsin dairy producers. He highlights specific counties in the state that have shown stark declines in herd numbers, and discusses what the outlook is for future milk prices.

April 19, 2019

Wisconsinites Weigh In on Budget, 2020 Politics
Wisconsinites Weigh In on Budget, 2020 Politics

Economy

Wisconsinites Weigh In on Budget, 2020 Politics

Director of the Marquette Law School Poll Charles Franklin breaks down his newest poll that delves into Wisconsinites’ views on budget and policy issues. He discusses what may be ahead for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, with Bernie Sanders pulling an early lead in the same state he won in 2016.

April 12, 2019

Trump’s Budget May Affect McCoy, Truax
Trump’s Budget May Affect McCoy, Truax

Economy

Trump’s Budget May Affect McCoy, Truax

President Donald Trump’s budget includes a list of military construction projects, with some implications for Wisconsin.

March 22, 2019 • South Central Region

New Analysis Shows Challenges Milwaukee Faces
New Analysis Shows Challenges Milwaukee Faces

Economy

New Analysis Shows Challenges Milwaukee Faces

Marc Levine of UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Economic Development, discusses his new analysis on one of Milwaukee’s most impoverished ZIP codes: 53206. He says the area feels the effects of multiple disadvantages piled on top of one another, and that while the job market is improving, many are working at poverty-level employment.

March 15, 2019 • Southeast Region

Evers Explains Budget Priorities, Bipartisan Possibilities
Evers Explains Budget Priorities, Bipartisan Possibilities

Politics

Evers Explains Budget Priorities, Bipartisan Possibilities

Gov. Tony Evers sits down with Zac to discuss the policy priorities included in his first budget. Evers says he “feels confident this truly is the people’s budget,” and that with newly-divided government Wisconsinites want to see something accomplished. On whether he will use his powerful veto pen, Evers says “what I want to avoid is having to veto an entire budget.”

March 8, 2019

Fast Facts: Bipartisanship in the Budget
Fast Facts: Bipartisanship in the Budget

Economy

Fast Facts: Bipartisanship in the Budget

With the state budget containing policy priorities that some may find polarizing, Marisa Wojcik delves into areas of the budget that may receive bipartisan support.

March 8, 2019

How to Address Homelessness in the State
How to Address Homelessness in the State

Social Issues

How to Address Homelessness in the State

Rep. Pat Snyder, R-Schofield, talks about a proposal to address homelessness in Wisconsin--one of the budget items that may receive bipartisan support. He says that including it in this budget is “a good start,” but if it were passed in its own bill it would have longevity outside the biennial process. He adds that homelessness is a hidden problem that “people don’t realize everyday,” its impacts.

March 8, 2019

Tax Expert Breaks Down First Evers Budget
Tax Expert Breaks Down First Evers Budget

Economy

Tax Expert Breaks Down First Evers Budget

Helping break down Gov. Tony Evers’s budget proposal is Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He says of the debate between Republican and Democratic versions, “the one thing that will unite Republicans is taxes.”

March 1, 2019

Nygren: Budget Is Disappointing
Nygren: Budget Is Disappointing

Economy

Nygren: Budget Is Disappointing

Co-chair of the state’s budget writing committee Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, discusses the Republican response to Gov. Tony Evers’s budget. He calls the budget disappointing, and says it was a “missed opportunity” to promote areas of common ground.

March 1, 2019

Johnson Weighs in on Where the Wall Stands
Johnson Weighs in on Where the Wall Stands

Economy

Johnson Weighs in on Where the Wall Stands

The clock is ticking down to another potential government shutdown, with the details of funding for a southern border wall yet to be ironed out. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson discusses the status of the negotiations and how trade policies impact Wisconsin.

February 8, 2019

Experts Break Down Foxconn’s Future
Experts Break Down Foxconn’s Future

Economy

Experts Break Down Foxconn’s Future

With the news that Foxconn will be changing its initial manufacturing plans in Wisconsin, experts weigh in on what the future holds for the LCD manufacturer in the state. Economist Einar Tangen says the evolving plans reflect the company’s traditional practice in Asia. Paul Semenza, a San Jose technology insider, says it makes business sense for the company to scale back US production.

February 8, 2019

Wisconsin’s Top Consumer Complaints in 2018
Wisconsin’s Top Consumer Complaints in 2018

Economy

Wisconsin’s Top Consumer Complaints in 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection compiles a list of complaints Wisconsin consumers have. Here are what topped the list in 2018.

February 8, 2019

What’s Next for Foxconn?
What’s Next for Foxconn?

Economy

What’s Next for Foxconn?

News broke this week that Foxconn considered scaling back production of LCD screens in the state, yet the week ended with the company doubling down on its commitment to produce screens in Wisconsin and create 13,000 jobs. Weighing in on the news are Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh.

February 1, 2019 • Southeast Region

McCoshen and Ross React to Foxconn, Shutdown
McCoshen and Ross React to Foxconn, Shutdown

Economy

McCoshen and Ross React to Foxconn, Shutdown

Political panelists Bill McCoshen of Capitol Consultants and Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now break down the week’s Foxconn news and government shutdown politics. McCoshen says that Foxconn got a big help from President Trump and that if the company fails it will be on Evers’s watch. Ross says the company has “done everything and rigged everything” in its contract and cost taxpayers money.

February 1, 2019

Wisconsin Federal Prison Guards Await Pay Due to Shutdown
Wisconsin Federal Prison Guards Await Pay Due to Shutdown

Economy

Wisconsin Federal Prison Guards Await Pay Due to Shutdown

Federal employees finish another week either furloughed or working without pay. Tim Viegut, an officer and union president at Oxford Federal Correctional Institution, says “it’s rough” for those at the prison who have to work without pay. “We’re all trying to take care of each other,” Viegut says. “We don’t have the option of not coming to work.”

January 18, 2019

Congressman Glenn Grothman Talks about Government Shutdown
Congressman Glenn Grothman Talks about Government Shutdown

Economy

Congressman Glenn Grothman Talks about Government Shutdown

Congressman Glenn Grothman says House Appropriation bills are "too free spending" when asked why he voted against some House Appropriation bills. Grothman also stated, "I have no problem paying people who are working," when asked about his opposition to back pay for federal employees affected by the government shutdown.

January 11, 2019 • Northeast Region

Tribal Nations in Wisconsin Feeling Federal Shutdown Pain
Tribal Nations in Wisconsin Feeling Federal Shutdown Pain

Economy

Tribal Nations in Wisconsin Feeling Federal Shutdown Pain

Shannon Holsey, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in Shawano County, has been fielding questions from the community regarding the federal shutdown and stoppage of funding that's obligated under treaty rights. Community services including health care, education, public safety and care for the elderly are all supported by the tribe.

January 11, 2019 • Northeast Region

Congresswoman Gwen Moore Speaks to Government Shutdown
Congresswoman Gwen Moore Speaks to Government Shutdown

Economy

Congresswoman Gwen Moore Speaks to Government Shutdown

U.S. Representative from the 4th Congressional District, Democratic Gwen Moore, responded, "That's the problem. They're not being received by the Senate" when asked about how the House of Representative bills currently being passed - that would fund the government - are being received by the U.S. Senate during this federal government shutdown.

January 11, 2019 • Southeast Region

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