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As I See It

More than one reason for labor shortage



It seems there has never been a better time to get a job. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is down below four percent, and just about every business in town is hanging a sign that says now hiring. Many businesses are offering referral bonuses or hiring bonuses, and many have raised their starting pay. Yet it remains difficult to attract workers. A new survey by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce attempts to find out why. It paints a bleak picture. Nearly nine out of ten businesses surveyed reported difficulty hiring new employees. Restaurants and bars particularly are struggling, many of them choosing to close their doors one day each week to ensure they can be adequately staffed. Many point to generous unemployment benefits, which in some cases allow people to make more money by not working. But there are other issues a play. Many previously working mothers are staying home to care for their children. Others don’t want to work in a public facing position like grocery store employees or servers. The fact is many individual decisions are being made for many reasons that are keeping people out of the workforce. But the good news is, for those able and willing to work, now is a great time to get into the workforce.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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