MADISON- Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturer’s association – sent a letter to Gov. Evers urging him to sign legislation into law that would end the federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs that are contributing to the state’s dire workforce shortage.
Sunday, on UpFront, Gov. Evers repeated his claim that he has seen no evidence that the $300 per week pandemic-related unemployment benefits were impeding people from reentering the workforce post-pandemic. WMC explains in the letter that business leaders all across the state are desperate for workers and that recent studies cite the $300 per week supplemental as a “noticeable” contributor to the workforce shortage.
In part the letter reads:
“There are other data points, including from a University of Wisconsin-Madison economist who said last week that “the labor market in Wisconsin is tighter now than it was in the few months before the pandemic.” While this is due to a number of factors, the enhanced unemployment benefits are one of them.
“Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said that the $300 per week supplemental was a “noticeable” contributor to the workforce shortage. The San Francisco Fed also said one in seven people offered a job would turn it down because of the benefits – that is 14 percent of the potential workforce that is actively sitting on the sidelines.
“Lastly, research from the Indeed Hiring Lab showed that job searches experienced an uptick of five percent following the announcement that states were going to end the enhanced benefits. This shows at least some people were encouraged to get back on the job knowing the benefits were going away.”
In addition to urging Wisconsin to end federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs, WMC encouraged Gov. Evers to reinstate Wisconsin’s talent attraction campaign.
If Gov. Evers needs more evidence that the federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits are contributing to Wisconsin’s workforce shortage, WMC invites the Governor to speak with business owners from all over the state, and hear testimonials on how these unemployment benefits are exacerbating the workforce shortage.