The economy is the final topic in the series of conversations. Rural Wisconsin is home to an excellent workforce, but demographic trends demonstrate many people raised in rural areas are leaving to seek opportunity elsewhere. This ultimately discourages new providers of family-supporting jobs from locating outside of urban or suburban areas, and restricts opportunities for those who remain. Furthermore, the skills gap has become increasingly challenging in rural communities. 


  • Between 2000 and 2014, total rural jobs in Wisconsin increased by 1.8%. This was significantly below the 10.1% growth achieved nationally.¹
  • Manufacturing is the largest rural employment sector, followed by government and retail trade.¹
  • Rural Wisconsin has approximately 14% lower income levels than urban Wisconsin.¹
  • By 2014, only two (or 4%) of Wisconsin’s rural counties were recovered from the Great Recession based on data from the National Association of Counties.² This compares to 42% of Wisconsin’s urban counties.¹

Join Us

Thursday, June 1 at 9:00 am
University of Wisconsin-Marinette
750 W. Bay Shore Street, Marinette, WI 54143

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