MON AM News: Research connects reduced fertility rates to decline in manufacturing jobs; ‘Milestone’ test completed by SHINE, Phoenix

— A sociology researcher at UW-Madison has found a connection between reduced fertility rates and a decline in manufacturing jobs on the national level.

“Metro areas that experienced steeper declines in goods-producing businesses were more likely to experience steeper declines in fertility rates,” said Nathan Seltzer, whose work was published last week in the journal Demography.

His research involved analyzing every birth in the United States at the county level over a period of 24 years. He found fertility rates for metro areas could be better predicted by the area’s share of businesses in manufacturing industries than by its unemployment rate.

The link between manufacturing jobs and fertility rates was especially strong for Hispanic women, who are more likely to work in goods-producing industries than women of other ethnic groups, according to the study. Still, manufacturing business activity was more closely tied to fertility than the unemployment rate for all ethnic groups.

“These structural trends are driving this increased financial precarity and influencing women and couple’s decisions to have children,” said Seltzer, a doctoral candidate in the sociology department.

The study included birth data from all 381 Census Bureau-designated metro areas between 1991 and 2014, which contain roughly 85 percent of the U.S. population.

See more:

— Phoenix and SHINE Medical Technologies recently completed a “milestone” test of the Phoenix neutron generator system that will be used by SHINE to make medical isotopes in Janesville.

“This delivery represents the culmination of over a decade of joint development effort between SHINE and Phoenix, moving from proof of concept, to proof of scale, and now to a unit that can produce millions of doses of medicine per year when paired with SHINE’s proprietary isotope production system,” says SHINE founder and CEO Greg Piefer.

SHINE aims to disrupt the current framework for production of molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope that’s widely used in medical imaging. The only major producers of this isotope currently are government-owned nuclear research reactors, according to the company, which create Mo-99 by exposing uranium to radiation.

SHINE plans to overtake that market by using a “low-enriched uranium process” that involves Phoenix neutron generators.

Once the SHINE production facility is up and running, those particle accelerator systems will need to operate 132 consecutive hours, or 5.5 days with greater than 95 percent uptime — a measure of system reliability.

The recent test was performed on the first production-ready accelerator at SHINE’s facility in Janesville. The release shows it achieved 110 percent of the required output for average neutron yield, and had greater than 99 percent uptime.

SHINE held a groundbreaking earlier last month on its Janesville facility, which will have eight Phoenix generators once at full capacity, according to the release.

“We proved, with an independent reviewer onsite, that the system can not only meet, but exceed our business requirements, moving SHINE one step closer to turning bombs into medicine,” Piefer said.

See the release:

— The latest report from RentCafe shows apartments in Mequon were the most expensive in the state, with an average rent of $1,927 in May.

The fastest growing rents for the month were also seen in Mequon, where rents were up 12.1 percent over the year. That’s an increase of about $208.

The next highest average May rents were in Brookfield, $1,497 per month; and Wauwatosa, $1,350.

By comparison, the cheapest cities to rent in apartment are: South Milwaukee, $813; Kenosha, $1,028; and Waukesha, $1,030.

And the slowest growing rents were in Wauwatosa and Sun Prairie, where average rent prices grew 0.3 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Overall, the average rent in Wisconsin generally lower than the national average, the report shows.

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— Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remained at a record low 2.8 percent during the month of May according to the Department of Workforce Development.

The report, which cites data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows a 0.3 percent drop in unemployment in the state from the 3.1 percent mark in May 2018. Wisconsin added 19,600 private-sector jobs over that period.

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said  the historically low unemployment figures illustrate the need to be “more creative and inclusive in our workforce recruitment, retention, and advocacy efforts

“With national unemployment below 4 percent and Wisconsin’s below 3 percent, it is incumbent upon the state to invest in areas of the highest return: Upskilling underemployed workers, advocating for those already in the workforce, and removing barriers for those on the employment sidelines, such as the cost of childcare and inadequate transportation options in both urban and rural areas of our state,” he said.

See the release:

— Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is stepping down, a report from the Daily Reporter shows.

According to the report, Gou made the announcement at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Young Liu, who heads up Foxconn’s semiconductor division, was chosen as Gou’s successor.

A separate story from the Racine Journal Times shows Foxconn’s Mount Pleasant manufacturing facility has passed the village’s Plan Commission.

See more in Foxconn Reports below.

— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, has introduced bipartisan legislation to boost Medicare reimbursement rates for rural Wisconsin health care providers.

The Keep Physicians Serving Patients Act of 2019 would adjust the geographic practice cost index to increase the estimated costs of labor and practices expenses in rural areas. The current formula produces lower Medicare payments to rural providers when compared to their urban counterparts.

“Rural communities have unique needs when it comes to health care. Physicians and health systems in rural Wisconsin provide high-quality care, but the flawed Medicare reimbursement formula is harming Wisconsin providers and putting pressure on rural health systems,” Kind said.

The legislation was introduced by Kind along with Reps. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Adrian Smith, R-Neb., and Darin LaHood, R-Ill.

See the full bill text:

See more on the legislation here:


# UW Health partner UnityPoint Health launches $100M venture fund

# Wisconsin cranberry growers hopeful about market future after 2 years of limiting production

# In Wisconsin, users of cannabis and CBD are as close as Main Street

# Viroqua chef eager to take over as host of ‘Wisconsin Foodie’



– State dairy groups praise USDA’s change in cover crop policy

– Farm real estate values up in Wisconsin


– BMO Harris Bank branch in Menomonee Falls sold in sale-leaseback deal


– 5 things you might not know about sphagnum moss, Wisconsin’s ‘invisible industry’

– Evers administration proposes new groundwater quality standards


– UpStart Kitchen set to open in Sherman Park in August

– Eagle Park Brewing plans to open Muskego brewery


– Foxconn chairman Terry Gou says he is stepping down

– Foxconn manufacturing facility passes Mount Pleasant Plan Commission


– Steve Hipp named president and CEO of Leader Paper Products


– Denali Ingredients expands product offerings at new facility in New Berlin

– Harken Inc. sells its Pewaukee headquarters


– Steil amendment helps fund Dairy Business Initiatives


– National architecture firm SmithGroup opens Milwaukee office in Historic Third Ward

– Zilber starts spec industrial building in Janesville


– Wisconsin Assembly sets same Miller Park tax sunset as stadium board


– Hal Leonard becomes official supplier of percussion gear to Summerfest

– State Fair dairy products contest winners named


– Tug of war continues between Eau Claire, Duluth for historic locomotive


– Regulators approve slate of community solar programs for Wisconsin utilities


– Tom Still: 5G wireless bill will better connect Wisconsin

– Jim Goodman: Current farm crisis offers opportunity for change


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Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board: Job fair set for July 10 in Beloit