Friday Roundup: Consumer confidence, retirement funds, transit, what to do with new state revenue

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin faces billions in retiree obligations

Over the next generation, Wisconsin’s taxpayers and public workers must deal with at least $6.5 billion in unfunded retirement promises made by local governments, with more than $4.7 billion in the state’s largest county alone, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

From Milwaukee to Eau Claire, local governments face problems more severe than any in a generation, a review of thousands of pages of financial documents shows. The biggest challenges lie in southeastern Wisconsin, with the city, county and schools in Racine, for instance, combining for at least $686 million in unfunded liabilities to retirees and workers — $3,500 for every person in the county.

Shop Floor: Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Jumped Strongly in September

The Conference Board said that consumer sentiment jumped strongly in September. The Consumer Confidence Index rose from 101.8 in August to 104.1 in September, its highest level since August 2007. This represented a significant improvement in Americans’ assessments of the economy since May’s dismal 92.4 reading. 

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Participation Rates Increase for AP, PSAT; remain steady for SAT

A total of 39,967 Washington state public school students in the Class of 2016 took the SAT, a number virtually unchanged from 2015 (39,958 students). PSAT participation increased from 2015 to 2106 by 10.1 percent for 10th graders and by 3.5 percent for 11th graders. And participation in AP tests increased by 1.7 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin: Bank new state revenue to help fund education

Fund education first, not last. The latest revenue forecast just provided $336 million to make that task a little easier.

New Geography: Transit: About Downtown and the Core

The nation’s six largest CBDs, not surprisingly, had the largest transit market shares. In New York, south of 59th Street, transit’s market share is approximately 77 percent. In Chicago, transit share to the CBD is 57 percent, in Boston 52 percent, in San Francisco 51 percent and between 40 percent and 50 percent in Philadelphia and Washington. Seattle, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis-St. Paul followed at between 30 percent and 40 percent. Portland ranked 10th at 27 percent.