Economy and Business
Mon July 9, 2012
Wisconsin says wages up 6.7% in 2012
The Department of Workforce Development says Wisconsin wages hit an all time first quarter record this year.
The agency says wages in the first three months of 2012 were up 6.7% over the first quarter of 2011. State Chief Economist Dennis Winters says the report follows gains in employment and promising reports from the state’s manufacturing industry. “It’s indicative of how the economy was going at the end of 2011 and the first part of 2012 and I think it bodes well for what was happening then and hopefully what will happen down the road,” he says.
The data from the DWD has not been verified by the federal government, which will release its own report on wages in the fall. Smith says the two reports likely won’t match up because the state’s data doesn’t account for federal workers. “This is a release that came out of our department and this is good news, so we want everybody to know the numbers we’re looking at as we move forward at the state level,” he says.
Laura Dresser is the Associate Director Center of Wisconsin Strategy. She says wages in the previous quarter went down by 2.4% compared to the year before so any improvement is welcome. “So, we had declining wages in the preceding quarter and that performance was the eighth worst in the nation," she says. "So, to have a good quarter and I hope this is a good quarter that kind of makes up some of that gap is especially good news.”
But Dresser says it’ll be months before the state’s reported 6.7% increase in wages can be compared with other states. The federal wage data will be released on September 27th.