Suburbs Suffer Greater Manufacturing Job Loss Than City

Experts in Wisconsin try to account for why the greatest number of manufacturing job lost in the metropolitan Milwaukee area were in the suburbs.
August 31, 2004, 6am PDT | Connie Chung
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According to a local research institute, most of the manufacturing jobs in metropolitan Milwaukee, from 1999 to 2003, were lost in suburban areas. They found that only 10,000 out of 30,000 jobs lost were located in the city proper. However, "while the manufacturing job loss was disproportionately in the suburbs, overall they fared better than the city, losing 6,599 jobs during the period vs. 17,662 in Milwaukee proper."

Professor of Urban Planning, Sammis White, who prepared the report, concludes that " 'Manufacturing will matter less and less as a proportion of Wisconsin employment.' "

"One explanation for the greater loss in suburbs could be that the city was hit harder in the 1990s when the economy was expanding...." Another theory around the greater loss is that "the jobs left in the city by 1999 were among those that were harder to move." Still another explanation is that " 'more new manufacturing enterprises were created in the booming '90s in suburban areas than in the city, and such new enterprises ‘are tenuous’ when things turn soft....’"

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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