WMC’s Senior Director of Workforce, Education & Employment Policy Rachel Ver Velde testified in support of a package of workforce bills, which contain reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance and workforce metrics laws. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate is currently 64.5%, which is better than the national average. But, it is significantly lower than our state’s peak of 74.5% in 1997. And, even more concerning, it is a full point lower than at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. This labor participation rate is unsustainable for employers in Wisconsin, especially when coupled with low birth rates and stagnant in-migration. If we want to continue to be a leader in manufacturing, agriculture and other industries, we must have a strong workforce. That is why it is important that government policies do not keep or place individuals on the sidelines.
Click here to read WMC’s testimony to the Workforce Development Committee.