State Workforce Developments
This week's member luncheon topic, "Labor Pains: Quick Recruiting Ideas to Make Hiring Easier" couldn't have been more timely. Several workforce reports were released this week that further emphasized the reason behind the recruiting challenges discussed.
The state Department of Workforce Development released their jobs report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determined the state's unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent in February. This figure is the lowest since November 2000 and lower than the national average of 4.7 percent. The BLS report also found the labor participation rate increased and remained at an all-time high, which is again above the nation's rate. This reflects the results of an exciting pro-growth agenda for our state; more people are on the job and our economy continues to get stronger. However, this also means our hiring pool is as small as ever.
As we continue to hear from members, collectively they have many vacant jobs to fill. Their not the only ones; a look at the JobCenterofWisconsin.com website shows more than 98,000 jobs currently available in the state. And that's not all, the Department of Workforce Development estimates that our state will need to fill nearly 100,000 jobs annually, mainly due to retirements. To put that into perspective, Wisconsin only graduates about 58,000 high school students every year. The gap is alarming and that's why as a business community we need to roll up our sleeves and get busy outside of our businesses and address the need for training programs, retention of our graduates, the housing shortage, new resident attraction, and more!
As your chamber, we're continuously looking for ways to become involved in these issues and more. We want to see our members growing and thriving and our area's workforce is a critical ingredient for your success. Let us know if there's a way we can further support your recruiting, hiring and retention needs. We're open to hearing your creative ideas for a collaborative approach to addressing these challenges.