Author: Bill Hodgkiss Date: 05/22/2019

ICB Economic Update - Spring 2019

As a business bank, we know how important it is to keep current on economic conditions in your region and the state, but sometimes only national data is readily available. That’s why we bring you the ICB Economic Update newsletter. This quarterly newsletter gives you the latest information on employment growth, unemployment, job openings volume, housing starts and more. We hope this publication helps you get a clearer picture of what’s happening, both at the state level and in your own backyard.

Newsletter Highlights

Both the Central and Northeast Wisconsin regional economies demonstrated continued growth in the first quarter 2019. The theme of the quarter in both regions is steady as she goes. Neither region has grown at the same impressive growth rates as have been observed nationally, but each continue to exhibit high rates of hiring and historically-low unemployment rates. Uncertainty regarding international markets and materials costs remain top of mind for many business leaders, as reflected both in recent inventory building and fluctuations in equities markets.

Below are some additional highlights from the spring 2019 edition of the ICB Economic Update Newsletter:

  • Northeast Wisconsin experienced a 1.3 percent annualized growth rate and Central Wisconsin 3.2 percent. Wage growth in both regions remains strong, growing between 2.7 and 3.1 percent in 2018.
  • Unemployment rates in both regions increased in the first quarter to 3.4 percent (Central) and 3.5 percent (Northeast). This is both the result of an annual benchmarking process and a routine seasonal trend. Unemployment rates are expected to return to below 3 percent in both regions as the calendar turns to summer.
  • Hiring in both regions remains equally robust, with openings spending an average of six weeks on the market. This is slightly above the national average suggesting that employers continue to struggle to find talent.
  • New housing starts are down significantly in Northeast Wisconsin (-35 percent) and up slightly in Central Wisconsin. This is due both to continued robust inventory in local real estate markets and staffing challenges in securing talent.

Want to know more about the conditions that affect your business – today and tomorrow? Click below to view the newsletter specific to your region. A link to the latest and archived issues can also be found on the ICB Business Blog home page by clicking on “Economic Update Newsletter.”

View Central Wisconsin Newsletter
View Northeast Wisconsin Newsletter

The ICB Economic Update newsletter is designed to provide valuable and timely information to help our customers grow their businesses. To learn more about what we can do to impact your growth and profitability, read our Top 4 Benefits of Working with a Community-Based Business Bank tip sheet.

Benefits of Community Business Bank 

Topics: General Business


Written by Bill Hodgkiss

Bill is Senior Vice President - Business Banking at Investors Community Bank. He joined ICB in 2016 when they merged with The Business Bank, where Bill served as President and CEO. Bill has almost 30 years of sales and banking experience. He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from St. Norbert College.


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Views provided in this blog are general in nature for your consideration and are not legal, tax, or investment advice. Investors Community Bank (ICB) makes no warranties as to accuracy or completeness of information, including but not limited to information provided by third parties, does not endorse any non-ICB companies, products, or services described here, and takes no liability for your use of this information. Information and suggestions regarding business risk management and safeguards do not necessarily represent ICB’s business practices or experience. Please contact your own legal, tax, or financial advisors regarding your specific business needs before taking any action based upon this information.