Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, April 17, 2015

Wisconsin job growth expected in service industries

Wisconsin job growth expected in service industries

Wisconsin is likely to see the most growth in available jobs in management and professional services to business, health care and social services, and leisure and recreation services into 2020, according to a report prepared for Competitive Wisconsin's BE BOLD 3 initiative by two La Follette School professors.

The three employment clusters will account for 36 percent of increased jobs in Wisconsin in the next five years, professors Robert Haveman and John Witte find in the analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. La Follette School students Rob Stupar and Scott Wood worked closely with Witte and Haveman in conducting the statistical analysis.

"The top 10 sectors our analysis identifies all have strong past and projected employment growth," Haveman says. "What's more, these 10 sectors are all service industries, not the traditional Wisconsin sectors of dairy and manufacturing."

The 10 sectors are

  • Insurance Carriers and Related Activities
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Ambulatory and Health Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Social Assistance
  • Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries
  • Food Services and Drinking Places

"We are well aware these results may be somewhat controversial, but all 10 sectors had strong employment growth from 1997 to 2012 and the data show we can expect continued growth in these areas into 2020," Witte says.

The report is available online as La Follette School Working Paper No. 2015-004.

BE BOLD 3 is the third in a series of Competitive Wisconsin initiatives to devise economic strategies that identify opportunities to strengthen Wisconsin's economy. Competitive Wisconsin is a nonpartisan coalition that engages business, higher education, agriculture and labor to bring groups together to provide analysis and recommend action on issues affecting Wisconsin's economy and quality of life.