In the field of economic development, our primary areas of of focus are on the number of jobs and the average wages within our region. We regularly note that we do NOT create jobs, but rather facilitate their creation by helping employers grow, expand or relocate in the Fox Cities. As far as wage levels go, we operate under the assumption that if companies are doing well, they will compensate their employees accordingly to retain existing talent and productivity–thus helping raise wages in the region.
Since our focus on jobs and wages is so dependent on the success of regional companies, we often benchmark the Fox Cities economy to that of the nation using federally collected data from sources such as:
- U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
- U.S. Department of Commerce: Bureau of Economic Analysis
- U.S. Department of Commerce: United States Census Bureau
These are federal government agencies which, to no surprise, tend to release cumbersome and outdated data. However, this information is collected in exactly the same way for each area of the U.S., making it possible for us to compare the Fox Cities against other regions in an “apples to apples” method. So, despite its hinderances, we generally use nationally collected data
We recently benchmarked the Fox Cities economy to the nation, in terms of Gross Domestic Product. The chart at the top of the article displays year over year growth in GDP, reported employment, and average wages per capita–for the Appleton MSA, WI (Calumet & Outagamie Counties) vs. the U.S. overall.
If you or someone you know is interested in accessing more specific data, let us know! Email Beth Pritzl, our Director of Research and Technology, with ideas or requests. She loves this stuff!