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Analyst says economic decline won't be as bad here as elsewhere

Wisconsin enters the holidays with an economy that hasn't been this shaky in almost three decades.

Dennis Winters, the state's chief labor economist, says our economy will probably keep struggling through the coming year.

But we won't decline as much as other states that had more benefits from the recent economic expansion.

Still, University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Menzie Chen says we're going through "The Great De-leveraging."

Chen says everyone from the typical homeowner to the bigger investment banks feel the aftereffects of a borrowing rush that pushed home prices to levels that could not be sustained.

Wisconsin had way fewer risky loans than other states but it couldn't shake off the problems from the country's general economic meltdown.

The Badger State lost more than 32,000 jobs in the year ending in November.

Robert W. Baird and Co., said Wisconsin's publicly-traded stocks have lost more than half their value on average.

Tax collections are way down, bringing less money to state government at a time when more people need its services.

And with everything else going on in the economy, the state will need to come up with an extra $5.2 billion to balance its next budget that begins next July.