2021 Wisconsin Your Economy Data Year in Review

Economic Growth

UW System’s Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship‘s has been updated with 2021 data. It paints a picture of the overall trends in the pandemic recovery as well as conditions specific to industries and individual communities for the past 18 years. See the press release about the launch on our website.

In reviewing the 2021 data, we see a story of great economic recovery. Following large losses in establishments and jobs in 2020, 2021 shows recovery in both areas in almost all of the counties in Wisconsin.

Establishment Growth

Notably, we saw establishment growth in all but one Wisconsin County when comparing 2020 and 2021 data. The top five counties with the most establishment growth included:

  • Milwaukee County at 6.4%
  • Dane County at 6.2%
  • Ozaukee County at 5.4%
  • Green County at 4.9%
  • Kenosha County at 4.7%

Even the three least populated counties in Wisconsin saw establishment growth:

  • Menomonie County at 3.8%
  • Florence County 3.2%
  • Iron County at 3.0%

Overall, Wisconsin saw an establishment growth of 3.9% statewide when comparing 2020 and 2021, with a total of 10,627 net new establishments in 2021.

Establishment Size

Establishment size held fairly steady from 2020 to 2021. The breakdown of establishment size as a percentage of total establishments in 2021:

  • Sole proprietors: 17.18%
  • 2-9 jobs: 61.41%
  • 10-99 jobs: 19.66%
  • 100-499 jobs: 1.57%
  • 500+ jobs: 0.17%

We continue to see a very strong small business community here in Wisconsin, with 78.59% of our small businesses having 1-9 jobs and 98.25% having less than 100 jobs.

Employment Growth

We also saw employment growth in all but one Wisconsin County when comparing 2020 and 2021 data. The top five counties with the most employment growth included:

  • Pierce County at 7.5%
  • Lafayette County at 7.0%
  • Florence County at 5.9%
  • Kewaunee County at 5.6%
  • Iron County at 5.5%

Employment growth by county averaged 3.6% in Wisconsin from 2020 to 2021, with a total of 1,670 net new jobs in 2021 statewide.

Overall, we are happy to report that we have seen great recovery between 2020 and 2021. We have not yet reached pre pandemic levels of establishments or jobs, but there is certainly progress in the right direction.

Contact the Your Economy team to learn about our custom data and subscription options and how you can access data specific to your county or metro area.