No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

We’re number 43 (again)

by @ 8:55 on October 15, 2010. Filed under Economy Held Hostage, Politics - Wisconsin.

Forbes magazine came out with its 5th annual “Best States for Business” ranking, and for the fourth straight year, Wisconsin is in the bottom 10. Even the “improvement” from 48th last year to 43rd this year, which matches where Wisconsin ranked in 2008, is not exactly good news.

Since the story doesn’t mention Wisconsin directly, we have to draw conclusions from the somewhat-limited tables. The business cost rank, which measures the costs of labor, energy, and taxes, remained unchanged from 35th last year among the 50 states, which continues to be the worst position Wisconsin has been in that metric. The labor supply rank, which measures educational attainment, net migration and population growth, likewise remained unchanged at 36th. The regulatory environment rank, which includes not only regulatory and tort climate, but incentives, transportation and bond rating, somehow improved a spot to 36th this year. The quality of life ranking, a measure of schools, health, crime, cost of living and poverty rates, likewise improved a spot, from 11th to 10th.

The big “improvement” was the economic climate rank, which measures job, income and gross state product growth as well as unemployment and presence of big companies. That rose from 41st to 35th despite the gross state product declining from $198 billion to $196 billion, mostly on fact the recession hit Wisconsin earlier and harder than most other states. The August 2009 non-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.6% in Wisconsin and 9.6% nationwide, while the August 2010 non-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.7% in Wisconsin and 9.5% nationwide.

However, even that bit of news is not exactly rosy. On the current trajectory, Wisconsin’s growth prospects rating, a projection of job, income and gross state product growth as well as business openings/closings and venture capital investments, fell from 45th to 47th, its worst rating in the 5-year history.

Translation – If you want to have Wisconsin once again be among the 5 worst states for business, keep the Democrats in power. If you want a shot of improving Wisconsin’s business climate, give the Republicans a chance.

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