MON AM News: Personal income expected to grow at slower rate than national average; Midwest economy growth lagged in May, report shows

— Personal income in Wisconsin is expected to grow at a slower rate than the national average this year and the next, according to the latest economic outlook report from the Department of Revenue. 

Personal income grew 4 percent in 2018, below the national rate of 4.5 percent, the report shows. It’s expected to increase 3.5 percent this year, versus 4 percent nationwide. And the report predicts 4.4 percent personal income growth in 2020, compared to 4.9 percent on the national level. 

Still, Wisconsin’s personal income growth for 2018 was just above the overall rate for the Great Lakes region. 

The report also highlights the state’s tight labor market, showing employment rose in the state at less than half the national rate over the past two years: 0.7 percent in 2017 and 0.8 percent in 2018, compared to 1.6 percent nationwide for both years. 

Despite labor markets at “near full employment” and a record low unemployment rate, DOR says the ratio of employment to population “shows that there is still room to grow without the economy overheating.” 

The forecast predicts two more years of modest growth in employment in the state — this year and the next. That is to be followed by a “significant slowdown” in 2021 and 2022 that’s expected to mirror national trends. 

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— A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago finds the Midwest economy in May experienced its slowest growth in nearly 10 years. 

The Midwest Economy Index is a measure of growth in nonfarm business activity, based on indicators for four broad sectors of the regional economy: construction and mining, manufacturing, services and consumer spending. 

The report shows the MEI in May fell to its lowest point since February 2010. Of the five states covered — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin — Iowa and Wisconsin contributed the most to May’s economic slowdown. Only Michigan had a positive effect on the MEI. 

By sector, services had the largest negative contribution to the MEI in May. 

The pace of manufacturing growth slowed in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin but stayed the same in Indiana. 

See the report: 

— Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he wants the Assembly to look at legislation that would legalize medical marijuana when the body returns from its summer break in the fall. 

The Rochester Republican told reporters Friday he has long been open to the concept of legalizing pot for medical purposes but added he first wanted to huddle with his caucus to see where other Assembly Republicans stand on the issue. Republicans stripped Gov. Tony Evers’ medical marijuana and decriminalization plan from the budget before sending their version to the guv. 

“I’d certainly love for us to be able to have a discussion that is rational, that takes our time, that we figure out an answer to see if Republicans could actually support it who are skeptics like I am,” Vos said. 

He added he would “much rather figure out a way to get to yes” than automatically be a no and said that started by bringing his caucus together. 

But Vos quickly nixed the idea of fully legalizing marijuana and slammed Evers’ budget proposal on marijuana. The guv called also called for the legalization of medical marijuana, but also added a separate provision that would decriminalize possession of up to 25 grams of the drug. 

Vos called that proposal “half-handed” and said Evers officials “created more problems than they created opportunities” by linking the two measures in the budget. 

“People see medical marijuana as a slippery slope toward recreational, which is why him putting (medical marijuana and decriminalization) together is exactly the fears that almost every single person had to say, this is why we can’t do medical,” Vos said. 

He also warned that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a long-time skeptic of medical marijuana, would likely not be open to measure. 

In a statement, the Juneau Republican said he believed a measure similar to what Evers proposed “would have a difficult time getting Republican support in the Senate.” But Fitzgerald did not specifically touch on Vos’ call to look at a stand-alone medical marijuana proposal. 

Ultimately, Vos said, his goal was to find a “path to be able to talk about” medical marijuana and try to find “a way that could work here in our state and actually get across the finish line.” 

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— A pharmacy researcher at UW-Madison has found many U.S. hospitals take more than a year to prescribe newly developed antibiotics, making it difficult for some drug manufacturers to stay in the quickly changing market. 

In a recent study published in the journal Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Prof. Warren Rose found the average time for 132 U.S. hospitals to prescribe any newly developed antibiotic agent was 398 days. 

His study focused on Qualified Infectious Diseases Products. These are being developed in response to the ongoing antimicrobial resistance crisis, as more infections diseases show resistance to commonly used antibiotics. 

In a release from UW-Madison, Rose says clinicians can be hypocritical, “because we call for drugs and then don’t use them.” 

This trend of delaying implementation of new antibiotics isn’t uniform across the country. In fact, areas in the southern United States were quickest to adopt all QIDPs, with a median time frame of 733 days. The northeast region took the longest to start prescribing all the new antibiotics, with a median of 1,370 days. 

“New antimicrobials have limited clinical use, which impacts manufacturers’ ability to stay in the antimicrobial market and further risking a depleted antimicrobial pipeline,” study authors said. 

See the study: 

— A Milwaukee-area manufacturer of plastic and metal parts plans to move to a larger facility in nearby Germantown to expand production. 

“Our business has grown significantly over the last several years, putting us close to capacity at our current location,” said Mike Esser, president and CEO of Dielectric Manufacturing. 

The company will move from its current Menomonee Falls location next summer to the new 100,000-square-foot site in Germantown. A groundbreaking will be held this week, and the project is expected to be finished in spring 2020. 

Esser is also a managing partner for Esser Family Properties, which has purchased 28 acres east of Interstate Highway 41/45 for the new facility. Thirteen acres will be set aside for the new Dielectric Manufacturing operations, and the rest of the land is being sold for other developments. 

In a release, Esser says the proximity to the highway was a “key factor” in choosing the site. 

“Our current facility is similarly close to the highway, and we wanted to retain that accessibility,” he said. 

See the release: 


# Robots could displace 20 million jobs by 2030, but Wisconsin might be less at risk

# Organic Valley lays off 39 employees

# New software aimed at stem-cell researchers advances data collection

# Bad River Band fears Enbridge’s Line 5 at risk of exposure on reservation lands



– Wisconsin all milk price hits 18-month high at $18.10 Cwt.

– Geiger elected president of National Holstein Association

– A hemp revival spreads across Wisconsin, creating a new business model for the stressed farm economy


– Wisconsin Lutheran College making campus upgrades with $5.2 million gift

– Hodorff & Breunig honored as National Holstein DJM finalists


– La Cage in Walker’s Point will officially relaunch July 5

– New pizzeria proposed in Historic Mitchell Street neighborhood

– Bakery-brewery partnership yields bread made from spent grain


– Suit accuses Fox Valley dump-truck company of stiffing driver


– Michelle Nettles leaving Molson Coors for ManpowerGroup


– Milwaukee-area manufacturing rebounds in June


– Nation’s largest coal producers look to merge mines that supply nearly 60% of Wisconsin coal


– Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Wisconsin chapter raises $700,000


– Republicans send state budget to Evers, starting 6-day clock

– Budget bill before Evers is shortest in decades


– Proposal would shrink BlackStone Creek Golf Club, add 250 residential units in Germantown

– Vacant land in Oak Creek’s Creekside Corporate Park acquired for development


– Common Ground organizer who challenged Bucks arena funding leaving Milwaukee

– Nike unveils Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first signature shoe and apparel line: Slideshow


– Key Evers aide questions WEDC’s $6.8M talent-recruitment campaign


– M. Molly Backes: Elegy for a small-town Wisconsin pizza joint

– Plain Talk: Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid is a show of ‘gratuitous political cruelty’

– Tom Still: Dane County growth helps communities well beyond its borders


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SCEDC: Opportunity and informed decisions: My path to entrepreneurship

Manpower Group: Appoints Michelle Nettles Chief People and Culture Officer

WEDC: MARKETPLACE 2019 conference on business development set for October in Milwaukee