Manufacturing In Northwoods Has Mixed Labor Signals

Sep 6, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons Steve Jurvetson

Tourism is the Northwoods most well-known industry, but manufacturing is also a key component of the economy. That's the word from a state labor market analyst.

Each quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data for the government with statistics in several categories.

Mitchell Rupp is a state economist pouring over the numbers. He says in the last quarter, manufacturing in Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Lincoln and Langlade counties was mixed....

"....Forest and Vilas were the only two counties with a drop in employment for manufacturing. Forest, Lincoln and Vilas had a decrease in the number of establishments and all counties saw wages increase in manufacturing...."

Wisconsin was among 28 states losing manufacturing jobs last year and the state continues to trail the national rate of overall job creation, according to figures released in June by the feds. Wisconsin lost nearly 3,800 manufacturing jobs from December 2015 to December 2016, a decrease of nearly 1 percent. Wisconsin's decline was steeper than the national average in the factory sector, which was largely flat last year.

Should the state land the proposed FOXCONN plant in southeastern Wisconsin, it could develop thousands of new manufacturing jobs, but the legislature is still working on the overdue budget to provide possible tax incentives for the firm.