Brief

State economic forecast portends a slow recovery after pandemic crash

By: - June 2, 2020 9:20 pm
Business chart image with human figures falling off the end of the declining graph line

Business chart (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal)

Wisconsin’s economy and the nation’s are headed for a slow recovery that will take more than three years to approach pre-COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the state Department of Revenue projects in a new forecast.

Personal income growth in the state will skid to just 0.2% in 2020, rebounding weakly to 1.6% in 2021, says the DOR report released Tuesday.

The forecast expects Wisconsin to track the U.S. on most economic measures. Unemployment in Wisconsin exceeded 14% in April, with 440,000 state residents losing jobs that month — two-and-a-half times the 170,000 jobs lost over the two years of the Great Recession that began in 2008, the DOR states.

The report is more optimistic in its wage-growth forecasts. After falling 9% in Wisconsin and nationally by the end of the third quarter of 2020, the DOR expects wage and salary income to rebound at a 7% rate in 2021 in the state, 7.7% nationally.

The federal  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will “significantly offset” wage and income declines, however, according to the report.

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Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Senior Reporter Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

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