What’s driving Wisconsin’s economic recovery?

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private sector employment in Wisconsin grew by 25,000 (about 1 percent) in the last year.

Historically, manufacturing has been a primary driver of the Wisconsin economy. Even after the significant recent job losses in manufacturing, this important sector still provides almost one in five private sector jobs in Wisconsin.

QUESTION: What percentage of the 25,000 increase in jobs in Wisconsin in the last year were in manufacturing?

A. manufacturing actually lost jobs in the last year
B. 23 percent
C. almost half
D. about 2/3rds

D. about 2/3rds

Almost two-thirds or 16,000 of the 25,000 net new jobs in Wisconsin between May 2010 and May 2011 were in manufacturing.

However, before we celebrate too much, recognize that there are still 50,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin than in May 2008 and over 100,000 fewer than in May 2001.