MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – stressed the need for state leaders to address the ongoing workforce shortage.
While the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and government shutdowns pushed unemployment to over 14 percent in Spring last year, the state’s unemployment rate has since dropped down to 3.8 percent – just half a percent higher than it was in Jan. 2020.
With the ninth lowest unemployment rate in the country, Wisconsin businesses are once again raising concerns about the lack of qualified workers available for current job openings. In fact, when asked “What is the top business concern facing your company?” in the most recent economic survey conducted by WMC, Wisconsin CEOs said the number one concern was labor availability. COVID-19 and related regulations were second.
On the topic, WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer released the below statement:
“Our policymakers need to understand that the economy is already bouncing back in Wisconsin, and we cannot be disincentivizing work. Extending supplemental benefits and once again repealing the one-week waiting period for unemployment will slow our recovery and hurt our economy.
“We understand that thousands of Wisconsinites are still out of work through no fault of their own. The good news is that manufacturers, construction companies and many other industries currently have countless openings for good, family-supporting careers. Instead of keeping people on the sidelines, lawmakers should be incentivizing work and finding ways to attract more people to the Badger State.”