How Are Wisconsin Manufacturers Faring?

Date: August 04, 2015

In 2015, the health of the Wisconsin manufacturing industry—which makes up 14 percent of the state’s economy—was rated at a “B+” grade in the Manufacturing and Logistics National Report Card put together by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University and sponsored by Conexus Indiana. This annual report shows how each state ranks in several economic factors that are key to the success of manufacturing and logistics. Over the past six years, Wisconsin has been performing well, with “B+” grades in 2014, 2011, 2010 and 2009; and “A” grades in 2013 and 2012.

In addition to overall manufacturing industry health, CBER evaluates states based on the following categories: logistics industry health, human capital, worker benefit costs, tax climate, expected liability gap, global reach, sector diversification, and productivity and innovation. Here’s how Wisconsin stacks up in 2015:

Manufacturing Industry Health: B+

Logistics Industry Health: B

Human Capital: B+

Worker Benefit Costs: D

Tax Climate: D+

Expected Liability Gap: C+

Global Reach: C

Sector Diversification: B

Productivity and Innovation: C+

While earning an overall strong ranking, Wisconsin’s two lowest grades—worker benefit costs and tax climate—are unsurprising. The state ranked 43rd in the 2015 Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, which compares states in five areas of taxation: corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and property taxes. Furthermore, promoting meaningful changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system is a top priority for NFIB/Wisconsin.

To learn more and read Wisconsin’s 2015 report card, visit

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Wisconsin

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