WEDC report – large regional disparities
In February Citizen Action of Wisconsin released research showing major geographic and partisan disparities in the claimed impact of Governor Walker’s semi-privatized jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Today we are releasing new data posted on WEDC’s website which provides additional evidence of large regional disparities.
Our analysis looks at the self-reported “jobs projected” numbers claimed by WEDC compared to the population of each individual county. WEDC defines “jobs projected” as jobs it had some hand in creating, although the agency does not provide clear definitions and analytical support for how it makes these determinations. For example, for a $26,210 grant by WEDC to Precision Paper Converters, LLC in Outagamie County, WEDC estimates 45 “jobs projected.” Although we have significant reservations about these claimed impacts, for the purposes of this report we take WEDC data at face value, and examine whether or not economic benefits are being fairly and proportionally distributed to every region of Wisconsin.
Highlights of the results
- 18 counties have 0 jobs impacted by WEDC. Every one of these 18 counties have an unemployment rate higher than the state unemployment rate of 6.1%
- 8 of the 18 counties for which WEDC does not project a single job has a county unemployment rate of over 10%.
Waukesha county has more “jobs projected” by WEDC than any other county in the state, despite its smaller population than Milwaukee and Dane Counties. Waukesha has one of the lowest unemployment rates andpoverty ratesof any county in Wisconsin.
- When controlling for population, WEDC is emphasizing impact in Waukesha at a higher level than Outagamie, Racine, and Marathon Counties.
Our interpretation of the results is that the Walker Administration continues to have no road map to economic prosperity for the majority of Wisconsin’s citizens. His signature economic initiative, WEDC, has no plan to get Wisconsin to 250,000 jobs by the end of 2014. Even if the jobs numbers are accepted, WEDC has little in the way of publicly available indicators of the quality of jobs (wages and benefits) it is claiming to create.
|County||Population||Jobs Projected by WEDC||County residents per job projected||Unemployment Rate|
|Fond du Lac||101,925||2,871||35.50||7.0%|