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Wisconsin business fret they can’t find enough workers

The unemployment rate has dropped 10 points since the height of the pandemic.
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Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:32 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Less than a year after the unemployment rate spiked to nearly 15 percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin businesses are expressing concerns about a workforce shortage.

“We understand that thousands of Wisconsinites are still out of work through no fault of their own,” the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce stated. “The good news is that manufacturers, construction companies and many other industries currently have countless openings for good, family-supporting careers.”

Since April 2020 when the onset of the pandemic forced many businesses to close either temporarily or permanently, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin has plummeted more than ten points from 14.8 percent to 3.8 percent, Dept. of Labor Statistics numbers show.

MonthUnemployment rate
Jan. 20213.8%
Dec. 20204.0%
Nov. 20204.4%
Oct. 20204.8%
Sept. 20205.2%
Aug. 20206.1%
July 20207.2%
June 20206.6%
May 202010.4%
Apr. 202014.8%
Mar. 20203.2%
Feb. 20203.3%
Jan. 20203.3%

According to the WMC, the state’s chamber and manufacturer’s association, that leaves the state with the ninth lowest unemployment rate in the nation and just a half-point higher than it was before the coronavirus pandemic reached Wisconsin.

For Wisconsin CEOs, the ability to find enough workers topped their list of concerns, with reducing regulations coming in second.

“Our policymakers need to understand that the economy is already bouncing back in Wisconsin, and we cannot be disincentivizing work,” the WMC added while urging lawmakers to end supplemental unemployment benefits and repealing the one-week unemployment waiting period.

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