National, state economic crises deepen

Decline continues in 2009, with recovery expected in 2010

For Release: January 2, 2009
Contact: Jessica Iverson, Communications Officer, 608-266-2300

MADISON – Following the confirmation of a national recession that began in December 2007, key state indicators show the Wisconsin economy has also entered a recession, according to the quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook released today by the Department of Revenue. The freezing of the credit market and drop in foreign demand are the major factors driving the economic crisis, which has worsened significantly since the August outlook.

State employment will continue to decline due to sizable job losses in the Manufacturing and Trade, Transportation and Utilities sectors. Total state employment is expected to decrease by 0.6% in 2008 and 2.2% in 2009, and begin recovery toward 2010. Wisconsin personal income growth, which had grown steadily over the last three years, is expected to stall in 2009.

Due to the relative stability of the Wisconsin housing market, the negative impact of the housing crisis will be less than in other parts of the country. However, Wisconsin housing has not yet hit the bottom, with building permits continuing to fall and homes sales down nearly 17% in the third quarter of 2008. State median home prices continue to decline, though not as sharply as in the U.S. as a whole.

"The national economic crisis has serious consequences for us all, as we face job losses, declining income growth and a severe state budget shortfall," said Revenue Secretary Roger M. Ervin. "With Wisconsin's economy worsening significantly, it is more important than ever that we work together to meet the challenges ahead."

The Executive Summary is available at
The full report is available at


Editor's note:
This report includes a new Executive Summary that provides an overview of the Wisconsin and U.S. outlooks.

The timing of this quarterly report has changed. The outlook will be released on a revised schedule to more closely match financial cycles, with the next report scheduled for release in late March.

Page last updated January 6, 2009