Federal index ranks Wis. 49th in economic outlook

UPDATED Thursday, June 6, 2013--6:15p.m.
MADISON--"It's about a full time job," said Kandyce Hunter, a recent Madison College grad. She's currently trying to find her dream job. "Supporting someone in an executive role is what my goal would be," she said. "In an institution either with education or community outreach."

But as she's trying to get into the job market, the state's forecast for economic conditions is looking a little cloudy. That's according to the latest Leading Index by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which ranks the state 49th. The Badger state is one of five with a contraction score; the only state scoring worse is Wyoming.

Countrywide, the index score is predicted to grow by 1.4%.
Wisconsin's score was -.74.

But not everybody thinks those numbers should lead to panic.
A career and employment specialist with Madison College tells us that job prospects for their graduates are actually pretty good. "We have a wonderful placement rate and I'm very proud of that," said Rochelle Wanner, a career and employment specialist for the school. "It's part of the reason why I stay at this college is because we are very successful in helping our students."

Prospects vary by field, but she said about 68% of their grads end up working in a related field to what they studied. "One of the things I always work with with students is that they have to go out and work for a job, it just doesn't come to you," she said. "You got to go out and look for it."

Hunter's following that advice--and feeling confident that she'll find what she wants in the Badger state. "Definitely not going anywhere," she said. "I feel like with what I'm seeing out there with job prospects it's pretty positive."

Now, even though Wisconsin is ranked near the bottom, the state is actually scoring better than it did last month. It's improved from a score of -1.7 last month to -.74 this month.

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Posted Thursday, June 6, 2013 --- 9:48 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's latest index ranks Wisconsin 49th in the nation for economic growth.

The Reserve Bank's data is from its monthly state-by-state index of leading economic growth indicators. The report shows five states with contraction, including Wisconsin with an index rank of negative 0.74 percent.

Economists caution against reading too much into data from a single month. The Philadelphia Fed's index relies heavily on the states' monthly employment report, which can change significantly. The data for the employment reports come from a survey of only about 3 percent of the state's employers.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17q7d22 ) says many economists believe Wisconsin's lackluster economic outlook is because its manufacturing industries face tough foreign competition and have been slow to reinvent themselves.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press