31 Jan Report card praises Wisconsin economy, but comes with warning
Wisconsin made the honor roll of a national economic development assessment group for its high quality of life and quality jobs.
The 2006 Development Report Card for the States, released last week by the non-profit Corporation for Enterprise Development, gave the state an A in performance and Bs in business vitality and development capacity, based on 2004 data.
But there were a few stinkers hidden in the subcategories that made up those three overall marks.
Perhaps most surprising is Wisconsin’s D in entrepreneurial energy, which CFED measured by the formation of new companies, job creation by start-ups, proportion of employment by the tech industry, and IPOs. Wisconsin came up worst in new company formation – 47th in the nation – with 4.26 new companies created per 1,000 workers in 2004. Top-ranked Idaho had 11.11.
The state’s other D was in employment, though that was a rough category for a large number of states, many of whom scored low because of layoffs.
And it just barely squeaked into that B for development capacity on the strength of human resources, primarily boosted by high-quality education. Other subcategories there – financial resources, infrastructure, natural resources and innovation assets – all scored Cs.
“While Wisconsin’s grades are strong, there are some troubling trends,” David Buchholz, research director for CFED, said in a press release. “The state ranks only in the middle in a financial resources and infrastructure. And educational attainment – while still good – is slipping. Wisconsin has some work to do to stay on top.”
• CFED: Development Report Card For The States