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Wisconsin businesses struggle to find workers, survey states

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Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - More than eight in 10 Wisconsin businesses are struggling to hire workers, according to a new survey released Wednesday by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

The Wisconsin Employer Survey found around 84% of businesses are having trouble hiring workers, which WMC president and CEO Kurt Bauer called a “major issue” for the economy.

“Hundreds of Wisconsin businesses just barely survived months of government-mandated lockdowns, restrictions and limited capacity,” said Bauer. “Now, many of those same businesses face another serious government-imposed burden in the form of overly generous unemployment benefits that have created a full-blown workforce emergency.”

WMC asked companies why they were having trouble hiring workers. About 35% responded that unemployment benefits were “too generous,” 30% said there was a lack of applicants with proper skills and 26% said there was an overall shortage of people. More than 85% of employers also stated they support ending the $300 pandemic-related unemployment benefit.

The agency also asked businesses what they think should be done to combat the hiring issue. More than 70% said the state should fund a talent attraction campaign, while others said more training opportunities for high school students and general education classes would be the way to go.

WMC conducted the survey during the first three weeks of June and surveyed 266 employers across the state.

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