Statement from WMC President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer on today’s jobs numbers
MADISON – “With the enactment of more than 30 pro-jobs reforms since January 2011, I am not surprised to see Wisconsin’s unemployment rate drop to the lowest level since late 2008. As those reforms take effect and our state and national economies improve, I am confident the jobless rate will continue to decline.
One major blemish to the remarkable pro-employer record of the current legislative session is the failure to pass a mine permitting bill that would have attracted a $1.5 billion investment and created thousands of high-paying middle class jobs.
Getting Wisconsin working again requires bipartisanship. The mining bill had the backing of business groups and private sector unions. What it didn’t have was the support of Democrats in the Legislature. As a result, the company willing to make such a huge investment in one of the most economically challenged regions of our state is gone and so are the jobs.
Wisconsin also has to do a better job of promoting manufacturing careers to young people. Eighty-five percent of the nearly 300 Wisconsin manufacturers who took part in 50 recent WMC listening sessions said they have skilled industrial positions they can’t fill. Nationally, Deloitte estimates that 600,000 factory jobs remain vacant because of the skilled labor shortage. Putting people back to work means educating them on where the jobs are and what skills they need to get them.”