economy

State of Working Wisconsin 2018

Over the last four decades, Wisconsin has doubled its productivity. But the average worker is earning just a dollar more per hour.

Like many states, Wisconsin has struggled to regain the ground it lost in the recession of 2008. A decade later, wages have finally recovered and unemployment is at a historic low.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve announced another quarter-percentage-point increase in interest rates Wednesday as expected, citing a strong labor market and economy.

The Fed raised the benchmark borrowing rate to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, the third hike this year.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Updated 2:20 pm

When Gov. Scott Walker mounted his first gubernatorial campaign he made a bold claim: that during his first term as governor he would create 250,000 jobs for Wisconsinites. He is just now nearing that figure after nearly two terms on the job.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

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Madison has overtaken Milwaukee, in terms of the cities' overall property values. That's according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, a nonpartisan organization that looks at state and local government.

WUWM's LaToya Dennis talks with Research Director Jason Stein about the reasons for the change and what the property value indicator means. Stein says the shift was a long time in the making.

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For all the political turmoil at home and in places like Germany, the UK, Zimbabwe, and the Middle East, the economic news - at many levels - has been generally positive in 2017.  Economies, in both developed and developing countries, have expanded in the past 11 months.

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The work of the United Nations is honored at this time each year with United Nations week. Despite a speech by President Donald Trump to the UN General Assembly last month, the place of the United States in the global political sphere is tenuous. Foreign aid and the State Department have been in the cross-hairs when it comes to cuts to the federal budget.

One of the buzzwords, when it comes to the economy, is “uncertainty.” Politicians blame slow economic growth on uncertainty over future tax rates or incoming revenue. Businesses decide to hold off on hiring because of uncertainty.

All of that leads to a lot of uncertainty for people in middle and lower classes of wage earners - uncertainty over paying the rent, buying food, affording college.

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There was a lot promised to the residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 2013. China-based tech company Foxconn "sent a jolt through the state capital" when it's CEO announced that a $30 million facility would be built to bring tech jobs to the area. The plans never materialized.

So what does this have to do with southeastern Wisconsin? 

This month, in a visit to Waukesha County Technical College, President Donald Trump alluded to potential negotiations that could lead to a tech plant in Wisconsin run by the very same company.

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Foreign policy and trade agreements have taken center stage in the Trump administration, but it remains unclear how the President’s rhetoric will translate to action.

In one of his first executive orders after the inauguration, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from negotiations over the TPP - also known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The proposed trade agreement was used by both Democrats and Republicans during the campaign, as a proxy for the pitfalls of globalization.

nateemee / Fotolia

As the stock markets opened today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was running at just over 19,885.  If things go especially well today, it could very well finish over the 20,000 mark for the first time in history. 

This may seem monumental, but award-winning Washington Post financial columnist and Marketplace Morning Report contributor Allan Sloan says not to get too excited.

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President-elect Donald Trump has upended many typical Washington conventions during the campaign and more recently, in his transition period. From international relations to science and environmental policy, predicting exactly what the Trump Presidency will look like is a challenging task.

Master Lock

Wisconsin-based company Master Lock attracted national headlines and a presidential visit a few years ago when it announced that it was bringing jobs back from overseas to its Milwaukee manufacturing plant.

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Political analysts around the world are trying to make sense of three ongoing phenomena: the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the adamancy of Bernie Sanders and his supporters, and the Brexit vote in the UK.

There are obviously some key differences between these issues, but writer and Milwaukee native Sandy Tolan thinks there is one major factor at work in nearly all the stories of voter dissatisfaction around the world.  That factor, he says, is globalization. 

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Income inequality is on the rise, both nationally and locally. While Wisconsin’s income gap is lower than the national average,  recent changes in tax laws may only deepen the growing divide.

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