150,000 Jobs Lost In Wisconsin – Why?

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion and debate over who and what is responsible for job growth and loss in Wisconsin. Shift Share, a traditional economic analysis tool, can help us understand the major factors contributing to employment growth or loss in a region.

Shift-share allocates changes in employment to three factors: 1) the state of the national economy; 2) the type of industries in the region; and 3) the relative competitiveness of the industries in the region.

QUESTION: Between 2007 and 2010, Wisconsin lost 150,316 jobs . According to Shift Share analysis, how much of that net job loss was attributable to the overall weakness in the national economy?

A. about 1/3
B. a little over 1/2
C. 3/4
D. over 100 percent


d) Essentially all.

Shift-share analysis can help us understand the major factors contributing to employment growth or loss in a region. Shift-share allocates changes in employment to three factors: 1) state of the national economy; 2) type of industries in the region; and 3) relative competitiveness of the industries in the region.

Shift-share analysis reveals that Wisconsin lost an estimated -155,739 jobs between 2007 and 2010 because of weakness in the national economy.

That is more than the -150,316 jobs actually lost in the state. How can that be?

Wisconsin gained an estimated 23,575 jobs because of the relative competitive advantages Wisconsin industries have over similar industries in other states. However, we lost another -18,152 jobs because of the mix of industries in the state.

The net effect = -155,739 + 23,575 – 18,152 = -150,316.

For more about Shift-share analysis:

To calculate Shift-share estimates for any county in the U.S.