As the nation hunkers down at home, we’re simultaneously staring down an impending recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s still unclear how the recession will unfold, but economists fear we could be looking at an unemployment rate higher than during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
It was just over a decade ago that the Great Recession led to skyrocketing unemployment, home foreclosures, and stagnated wages. But it seems that Wisconsin has learned some things in the time since the Great Recession.
"The State of Wisconsin’s finances are almost across the board in better shape than they were just a few years ago and in most cases are in much better shape than they were in 2007 at the onset of the Great Recession," says Jason Stein, research director for the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
A new report from the forum finds Wisconsin is decidedly more prepared to weather this impending recession but cautions that it will still lead to hardship. The report finds that Wisconsin is still in the middle-of-the-pack when it comes to financial preparedness in the U.S., and will still need federal funds.
"We do see talk in the U.S. Senate of a relief package for state and local governments, as well as for unemployment, as well as for small businesses ... That federal action becomes pretty important to watch because it's unikely that state and local governments can address the challenges that their citizens and businesses face on their own," says Stein.
During this pandemic, WUWM's Bubbler Talk is focusing on the coronavirus and its impact on the Milwaukee area. If you have a question, submit it below.