The State of Working Wisconsin 2020

For more than two decades, COWS’ State of Working Wisconsin has presented the workers’ perspective on the economy in the state: what’s going on with work and jobs, who is winning in this economy, and who is being left out; where is disparity growing; what’s happening to the economic chasm separating Black and white workers in the state.

In March, the Wisconsin economy moved into uncharted territory. We cannot simply use data from 2019 to answer these questions. The COVID-19 economic crisis has upended the economy; the State of Working Wisconsin 2020 will change too.

We will still focus on how working people doing in this state. But for the new report, we use data sources that speak to the current crises, will update data across the summer of 2020, continue to shine a spotlight on the brutal Black-white disparities that define this state, seek out new sources to present the emerging issues of desperate material need, and provide worker profiles to crystallize the human costs of this crisis.

For previous year’s State of Working Wisconsin reports, go here.


We thank the many workers and partners who participated in this project:

Caity Penzey Moog
Erica Nelson
Evan Reed
Jenny Riggenbach
Jon Peacock

Kevin Kane
Maxwell Love
Michele Mackey
Peter Rickman
Rachel Hogan

Rafael Smith
Robert Kraig
Stephanie Muñoz
Tamarine Cornelius



Project Team

Joel Rogers, PhD
Director, COWS

Alexis Econie
Worker Profiles & Outreach

Matias Scaglione, PhD

Laura Dresser, PhD
Associate Director, COWS

Emily Miota

Pablo F Aquiles-Sanchez
Worker Profiles & Data


Henry Hill-Gorman