Good News/Bad News in WI Labor Statistics

Earlier this month, Attorney Mark Goldstein was a keynote speaker at the 2023 Talent Development Conference, TDCON 2023, addressing the future of remote and hybrid work. At the same conference, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Chief Economist John Koskinen shared some recent economic and demographic data. For instance, while Wisconsin’s March unemployment rate set a new record low (2.5%), Wisconsin continues to face a profound labor shortage (ninth highest job opening rate in the country). Mr. Koskinen’s key conclusions:

  • The biggest threat to workforce development is declining participation for those with only a high school education.
  • The biggest opportunity for workforce development is by engaging those with only a high school education.
  • The labor shortage is as much a demand side issue as a workforce supply side issue.
  • Wisconsin’s workforce remains much more engaged than most states.
  • Wisconsin’s young labor force participation helps offset natural decline among elderly.

Business Takeaway: With a forecast of long-term labor shortages, business owners must be even more resourceful and creative in attracting and retaining talent. What are you seeing in your industry, and do you know how your business stacks up against your competitors?