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Report: Wisconsin experiencing job growth

In the past 12 months, Wisconsin  has experienced the most employment growth in the Midwest, according to statistics  recently released by the United States Department of Labor.

"I’m pleased  that Wisconsin is leading the way in employment growth," Gov. Jim Doyle said.  "Our strategy of focusing on upgrading our industries and competing at the  high end is making an impact. We still have more to do, and there are still troubling  signs in the national economy, but it is clear we are making progress."

Since  March 2003, Wisconsin has added 34,800 jobs-a 1.3 percent increase and the highest  numerical and percentage increase in the Midwest. Comparatively, Minnesota added  18,100 jobs (a 0.7 percent increase), and Indiana added 23,100 jobs (a 0.8 percent  increase), while Illinois lost 11,300 jobs (a 0.2 percent decrease) and Michigan  lost 42,200 jobs (a 1 percent decrease).

Housing, small business funding  announced

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is offering  more than $1.5 million in affordable housing tax credits over the next 10 years  for the Washburn Housing Authority, which will use them to rehabilitate 36 scattered  site family housing units and 24 elderly housing units at Autumn Manor.

Additionally,  WHEDA issued a:

  • $125,000 revolving 2 percent loan to the city of Ashland  for neighborhood housing in-fill projects. The loan, renewable every two years,  will allow the city to build a model home, rehabilitate an existing residential  property or acquire property as long as the proceeds are used in an older neighborhood  with vacant lots or in areas of need of residential redevelopment. Proceeds from  house sales could be used to pay off the loan.

  • $5,000 Neighborhood  Paint and Fix-up Grant to Ashland to help the city restore older, distressed neighborhoods.  Owner-occupied residents are eligible to receive $300 for exterior paint and $500  for exterior repairs. Non-owner occupied dwellings are also eligible for the grants,  but owners must match the funds.

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