Ohio is now in the ninth year of a national economic expansion. At the federal level, $2.3 trillion tax cuts should have the economy broiling. But from our lack of wage growth, you wouldn’t know it. What gives?
- August 31, 2018
- Laura Dresser, Joel Rogers, Emanuel Ubert, and Anna Walther
A decade after the Great Recession, Wisconsin’s economy, at least in employment and family income, has finally and meaningfully recovered. Unemployment and involuntary part-time employment rates are low. And, nearly a fifth of the way into this new century, the value of the median income of four-person families finally exceeds its 2000 level. This is very welcome news for working Wisconsinites.
This good news is not untarnished. Despite job gains, Wisconsin’s job growth is slow relative to the national pace. Wages are still in no way keeping pace with worker productivity. Wisconsin is comparatively weak in more lucrative occupations: professional, scientific, technical, and information. Our manufacturing sector, while growing, is a still significantly smaller than at the beginning of the century. And inequality continues to grow. One in five workers currently holds a poverty-wage job with few benefits. Rural economies are declining. Wisconsin’s black/white disparities still lead the nation.
In this report, we provide a snapshot of the economy today by looking at the conditions facing Kentucky workers. What matters for them is not how much wealth is being created or how well the stock market is performing. Front of mind for workers is the availability of quality jobs in their community. On that metric, Kentucky falls short.
The goal of the Working Families Benchmarking Project is to identify economic and related issues affecting Utah families and examine them through a comparative lens, evaluating Utah using a peer state as a benchmark. Many existing economic comparison studies and rankings look at the economy as a whole or at its impact on specific sectors or on employers. This project seeks to augment those very useful comparisons by focusing on how the economy is experienced by moderate- and lower-income families. It is these families whose children are most at risk of not achieving their potential in school and later in the workplace. Thus, how they experience the economy is of particular interest to Voices for Utah Children.