Sunday, January 24, 2010

New study ranks Madison and Milwaukee among best cities for business

What a bad day for the anti-tax, anti-progressive, wing of Wisconsin politics. Did they miss this over at Boots and Sabers?

BizTimes Daily for Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - BizTimes

Defying the locally perceived template that Wisconsin is not a good place to do business, both Madison and Milwaukee ranked among the top 20 metro areas in the country for business, according to this year’s study by

For the survey, MarketWatch scored the nation's 101 biggest metro areas - those with a population of more than 500,000 - on 10 metrics each. Five metrics measured the number of companies per capita in a metro area for a company concentration score. The remaining five metrics looked at the employment picture, growth and GDP for an economic stability score. The two scores were added together for a final tally. The highest tally went to Des Moines, Iowa, with 851 points, and the lowest was Youngstown, Ohio, with 164 points.

Madison ranked 12th 703 points, scoring particularly high in economic stability. Madison’s economy has been fueled by private sector growth in technology and biomedicine spurred by research at the University of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee ranked 20th with 643 points, scoring particularly high in company concentration. Milwaukee is home to publicly traded global manufacturers such as Johnson Controls Inc., Manpower Inc., Harley-Davidson Inc., Joy Global Inc., Bucyrus International Inc. and Rockwell Automation Inc., in addition to financial companies such as Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

Des Moines ranked the highest, replacing Minneapolis-St. Paul, which had topped the charts in the first two years of the rankings.


Rich Kasen said...

While this is good news, I wonder how long this will be sustained? With the latest round of tax increases and tax policy, I would imagine many will be considering leaving (like the Bowling Congress, Miller-Coors and to a lesser extent Midwest Airlines). Oh, and what brought Manpower to Milwaukee? Tax subsidies! Imagine how good the state would be if we offered tax subsidies to all companies - instead of raising their taxes!

Mpeterson said...

There's always been a latest round for the anti-taxers in Wisconsin... we're already supposed to be a tax hell -- that's the cause of all our problems, so we're told.

But what if it ain't?

Imagine a state that offered even bigger tax subsidies? I've lived there. It's Alabama. :^)

Anonymous said...

Here's why I don't shop Walmart, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Lowes, etc.
If you do shop at these stores after glossing this info...
Corporate Subsidy Watch

Common subsidies include:
Tax abatements
Tax credits
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs)
Infrastructure assistance
Land-price write-downs
Tax-increment financing (TIF)
Enterprise Zones

Baraboo WI 2001 Supercenter $2.2 million infrastructure (via TIF)
Milwaukee WI 2003 discount $4.5 million infrastructure (via TIF)

Wisconsin: In June 2007 the state Dept of Health/Family Serv. posted WI employers with the largest number of employees participating in BadgerCare. At the top was Wal-Mart: 897 employees enrolled, + 776 dependents. Projected annual cost to the WI: $3.7 million. McDonald's: (248 employees; 149 dependents); Aurora: (193; 162); Menards: (163; 184). The 116 employers with 15 or more employees on BadgerCare were said to cost the state a total of $23.9 million a year.

In Oct. '05 WI Citizen Action published a report estimating that large corporations, led by Wal-Mart, were costing the state $46 million a year because of the participation of their employees in public medical assistance programs.

Sept 22, 2006
Cabela's, Richfield, Wisconsin
$5.25 million from state and local sources...

Wisconsin and the City of St. Paul are among the right- to-know pioneers.

Wisconsin gives voters the opportunity to actually vote on revenue bonds.

While states and cities can't legally challenge "job pirating" by other states, they can prohibit "robbing Peter to pay Paul" within their own borders, and they can refuse to subsidize jobs pirated from other states or cities. Wisconsin, the pioneer state in this area, is typical, with recurring disputes over companies seeking state aid to simply relocate within the state.

In Wisconsin, a bill was enacted in 1993 designed to discourage city-vs .-city poaching. The law is known popularly as the "Dumore Bill," because the Dumore Corporation received Industrial Revenue Bonds from Mauston, Wisconsin to transfer 70 jobs from Racine, dislocating 70 members of the United Auto Workers. In the process, the company deunionized the workforce and drastically cut wages and benefits -- with the aid of low interest state-sponsored IRBs. Wisconsin's disclosure and public participation laws, dating back to 1986 (see Section A), are also intended against poaching, and were enacted as a result of intrastate job flight by companies which sought tax-free financing.

PaulyW said...

Madison is isolated from the reality of the rest of the state. The public sector jobs in Madison have boosted its ranking. While the rest of the working people in the state have endured layoffs and pay cuts, the U and state employees are marching right along with the same # of jobs and pay increases. All you have to do is look at the tuition increases. Milw has also had it's share of eroding. Harley has downsized more than once.
This is all well and good, but to equate this to some type of recovery is a stretch. Double digit un-employment for the rest of the state is to be ignored?

John Jost said...

PaulyW said...

Madison is isolated from the reality of the rest of the state.

Nah, that's West Bend.