Fast Facts: Wisconsin employers want more workers

A labor shortage in the state is expected to last for years as thousands of jobs in trucking, maintenance and nursing are not being filled, even as the unemployment rate has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

By Nathan Denzin

July 27, 2022

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Wisconsin’s economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with unemployment dropping to historic lows. Because of that, employers all over the state are now facing a labor shortage.

Employers are having a hard time finding qualified applicants for available jobs, so many are boosting pay and offering things like remote schedules.

Still, Wisconsin now faces a shortage of about 140,000 workers, because there simply are not enough people who are not already working to fill these jobs.

Truck drivers come in as the hottest job in Wisconsin with 6,500 openings every year. Sales reps, maintenance workers and registered nurses round out the top four hottest jobs according to the Department of Workforce Development.

The shortage is expected to last for several years as the number of employed people in Wisconsin has already passed pre-pandemic levels.

State data does show wages rising in all 72 counties in Wisconsin. In fact, the state’s six largest counties showed wage growth faster than the national average.

The bad news: Inflation has mostly outpaced any wage growth, and federal efforts to ease inflation will now cost consumers more in higher interest rates for borrowing.

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