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WisBusiness Tuesday Trends
April 24, 2007
By Brian E. Clark
This perennially struggling Illinois border city gets a boost when Ireland-based Kerry Group announces it will create 250 new jobs when it spends $45 million to expand its North American headquarters and create a research and development “Center of Excellence."
Wisconsin beat out Illinois for the project, in part because the state is providing $6 million in loans and grants to Kerry. In addition, the city of Beloit is providing $4.7 million to improve infrastructure and help the company grow and create jobs in the community. A Wisconsin Commerce Department spokesman says the Beloit jobs will pay an average of $52,000 each.
Women with college degrees in Wisconsin earn a median annual income of $45,193, the 20th highest in the United States, according to a report from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.
But their salaries pale when compared to Badger State men with college educations. That’s because the median income for men is $60,828 a year. The report said college-educated women in Wisconsin earn 74 percent of what male college graduates do. The study used data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare pay for full-time, year-round workers.
In general, researchers found that one year out of college, women working full-time made 80 percent of the earnings their male counterparts made in the same field. The earnings of women were 69 percent that of men 10 years after graduation, the report found. After controlling for hours worked, occupation, parenthood and other factors considered to affect earnings, the study estimated that about one-quarter of the pay gap could not be explained, suggesting sex discrimination, according to the report.
Three major Milwaukee-based manufacturers had a rough go of it during the last quarter, reporting significant declines in quarterly sales and net income.
Harley-Davidson Inc., which weathered a strike at a Pennsylvania plant, said net income for its first quarter dipped to $192.3 million, or 74 cents per share, down from $234.6 million, or 86 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Harley's quarterly revenue dropped to $1.18 billion from $1.29 billion a year earlier. More tough times could be down the road with labor contracts expiring at other Harley facilities in coming months. Harley shares closed Monday at $65.17, down from a 52-week high of $75.87.
Briggs & Stratton Corp. is reporting that its fiscal third quarter net income dropped to $7.8 million, or 15 cents per share, from $60.0 million, or $1.17 per share, a year ago. The company's net sales dropped to $717.1 million from $800.2 million as some customers shift to less expensive Asian-made engines. Another reason for the downturn was the cost of closing a Missouri plant. Shares for Briggs closed Monday at $28.70, down from a 52-week high of $36.39.
Badger Meter Inc.'s first-quarter net earnings fell to $2.6 million, or 18 cents per share, from $4.2 million, or 30 cents per share because of slow sales and rising prices for copper. The company's net sales from continuing operations dropped to $52.7 million from $58.0 million. Shares for Badger Meter closed Monday at $24.65, down from a 52-week high of $33.20.
Written exclusively for subscribers. Tuesday Trends is Copyright © 2007.