WisBusiness: Report says state income gap increasing

By Brian E. Clark

A mixed-bag economic report issued today by Competitive Wisconsin Inc. (CWI) shows the state is falling further behind the national average in per capita income, number of new jobs created and the amount of new private businesses.

The survey – dubbed Measuring Success: Benchmarks for a Competitive Wiscosinn – said per capita income fell to $34,476 in 2006, compared to the national average of $36,629. Bill McCoshen, executive director of CWI, called it one of the report’s “most troubling indicators.”

Wisconsin’s per capita income also continues to significantly trail that of its neighbors, Illinois ($38,297) and Minnesota ($38,751), the survey showed.

All totaled, the annual report showed that 17 benchmarks changed in 2006 from the previous year with eight improvements and nine declines. On the upside, 2006 showed increases in venture capital and export share, and decreases in unemployment and the percentage of uninsured residents.

McCoshen said his group, a nonpartisan consortium of state agriculture, business, education and labor leaders, has laid out of plan to close the income gap and is focused on drawing even with Minnesota.

“We look forward to working on policy changes over the next two years here in Wisconsin that will help achieve that,” he said.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=122352