A new report examines the economic impact of Wisconsin's 145 hospitals. "I think probably the scope and the scale of the hospital sector would surprise many people," says Professor Andrew Lewis, community development specialist with the Center for Community and Economic Development at UW-Extension . "Most people in communities that are served by hospitals recognize hospitals as major employer. I doubt whether they have a complete understanding as to how big that sector is."
Generating more than $22 billion dollars in economic activity, and employing more than 100,000 people in Wisconsin, Lewis says hospitals are among the top ten employers in a majority of the state's 72 counties, and are among the top five employers in 20 counties. The study from UW Extension and the Wisconsin Hospital Association indicates the health sector is an economic mainstay that provides stability and growth, while remaining less sensitive to economic downturns than other industries.