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Low unemployment rates cause lack of job seekers in WisconsinSubmitted: 11/04/2019
Story By Ben Bokun

Low unemployment rates cause lack of job seekers in Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - It's relatively easy for a person to find a job in Wisconsin. That makes it more competitive for employers to hire talent, which is creating problems.

"The times are slightly different than any other time before, because we are at this low unemployment level," said Grow North Executive Director Brittany Beyer.

Every county in Wisconsin saw its unemployment level improve in September. Beyer says its caused businesses to be more lenient with such a small pool of job seekers.

"If they have candidates that are eager and might not necessarily have all the skills that they're looking for, they could and should be willing to think through what skills they could help develop those individuals to obtain," said Beyer.


Tricia Braun, COO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), says there's just a lack of people in general.

"Wisconsin, the past decade, has had more outmigration than we've had immigration," said Braun.

In response, the WEDC surveyed metro areas in the Midwest.

"They weren't saying things like '[it has] great schools,' or '[it's a] good place to raise my family' or '[it has] diverse career opportunities in my area,'" said Braun.

Beyer believes people aren't aware of the state's opportunities, like its industry.

"Our trades are a place where a lot of people can find career pathways that find sustainability really easily," said Beyer.

The WEDC is working to groom the next generation into staying in Wisconsin for work.

"We're wanting to work with our employers, especially manufacturers, and partner with them on initiatives like fabrication labs in our K-12 schools," said Braun.

For towns around the Northwoods, Braun thinks innovation in hiring is key.

"It really is forcing a community to come together and create solutions - out-of-the-box solutions - to help address some of these challenges," said Braun.

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