economy

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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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In 2015, more than 190 world leaders signed onto the United Nations' list of Sustainable Development Goals. They address global inequality and promote more sustainable societies over the next fifteen years. The goals are universal – they’re designed to apply not just to the developing world, but to communities like ours, as well.

UW-Milwaukee is using these goals as a jumping-off point for its latest live lecture series.

Mixed Signs for Milwaukee Real Estate Market

Feb 3, 2016
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Last year ended on a positive note for Milwaukee’s real estate sector. The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors reported the area had its strongest December for home sales since 2004.  It was the eleventh straight month home sales increased here.

At the same time, the latest numbers show some cautionary signs – especially for people trying to afford their first home.  Lawrence Yun is the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, and he adds some context to the discussion.

College Debt in Wisconsin on the Rise, Following National Trend

Jan 28, 2016
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Tuition and other college costs have risen astronomically and grants and other forms of non-debt aid haven’t kept pace. It’s not uncommon for students across the country today to graduate with crushing balances owed to the federal government and to private lenders – the latter often at high interest rates.

Wisconsin hasn’t escaped the trend. According to Bruce Murphy, editor at Urban Milwaukee, the percentage of debt incurred by Wisconsin’s students rose sharply in the past decade – faster than all but 6 other states.

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Oscar Mayer on Wednesday announced that it will close its plant in Madison in 2017 leaving around 1,000 people unemployed. 

The news followed an announcement by Joy Global that it plans to lay off more than 100 people in the Milwaukee area starting this month, and reports of Wisconsin based Quad Graphics closing plants elsewhere in the country.

WUWM's LaToya Dennis caught up with Marquette University economics professor Abdur Chowdhury to find out what’s going on.

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The headlines have suggested that the third quarter of the fiscal year was not a bright one for Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson.

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Millennials make up the largest portion of Wisconsin's workforce, according to U.S. Census Current Population Surveys data. 

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Following last week’s address by Pope Francis, world leaders are gathering at the United Nations this week to go about the process of setting strategic goals for the coming fifteen years. 

The goal-setting comes at a time when world tensions are rising, thanks to ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, and Russia’s recent efforts to exert its influence in eastern Europe. 

New Report Gauges Biosciences' Impact on Wisconsin's Economy

Sep 18, 2015
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A report out this week offers a snapshot of an increasingly important sector of the Wisconsin economy. 

The report quantifies the economic output of the state’s bioscience sector, and how it relates to other Wisconsin industries. 

The report was commissioned by BioForward, the trade association for the bioscience industry.  It was released Wednesday, at the group’s Bioscience Summit in Madison. 

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Last week, the U.S. Labor Department reported that unemployment fell to 5.1 percent, its lowest level in seven years. But that figure only tells part of the story. August was a below-average month for new jobs nationwide, and wages grew at a rate below what the Federal Reserve had hoped for the sake of the economy at large.

China's Role in the Current Market Turmoil

Aug 26, 2015
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The financial markets in this country rebounded somewhat yesterday before falling once again. The now four-day trend was brought on, in part by turmoil in the Chinese economy.

"They are in a position to manipulate their currency," Lake Effect's foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says. "They've tried to do that to gain advantage, but as the current market crash shows, that doesn't really gain you an advantage over the long term."

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Political analysts describe Wisconsin as purple – neither liberalism’s traditional blue, nor conservatism’s typical red.  The state’s deep political divides are well-documented, but often in terms of political party or philosophy.

A Wisconsin researcher is looking at a divide of a different kind. Kathy Cramer, a political science professor at UW-Madison, has been researching the rural-urban gap and how it affects Wisconsin politics.

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Almost exactly a month from now, the climate for grocery shopping in southeastern Wisconsin will see some significant changes.

The first two Meijer stores in the state – in Grafton and Kenosha – will open their doors. The 190,000 square foot stores will feature the sorts of products you’d find at both a supermarket and also a retailer like Target, following the supercenter model.

Meijer seeks to be a one-stop shopping center and hopes that their company's philosophies will appeal to Wisconsinites and their Midwestern values.

Essay: Trade Pact Needs Trade-Offs

Apr 28, 2015
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As negotiations over the TPP are continuing, it’s generating some unusual political alliances.  Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank surprised himself a little when he considered the trade deal’s merits:

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