WEDA Joins Efforts to Address State’s Workforce Shortage

WEDA joined over a dozen other business-related organizations in encouraging Gov. Tony Evers to address the state’s workforce shortage that is stifling Wisconsin’s economic recovery. More specifically, the coalition of business groups sent Gov. Evers a letter urging him to end federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs that are a contributing factor to the workforce shortage.

Currently an individual can receive $670 per week on unemployment due to the $300 federal enhancement, which runs through September. While WEDA understands the impact of the pandemic on both employers and employees and does not discount obstacles some face in re-entering the workforce, we also believe the additional federal unemployment insurance benefit is creating a disincentive to work and is making it harder for employers to fill open positions.

In part, the letter to Gov. Evers reads:

It is already a difficult hiring environment for employers as they face competition from each other; they must now also compete with state and federal unemployment benefits that, if not ended by your administration, will run throughout the summer months. Workforce was the biggest challenge facing Wisconsin businesses prior to the Covid-19 downturn. Now, instead of “bouncing back” from the pandemic, the Wisconsin economy is being held back by an acute labor shortage made all the worst by government interference in the marketplace. 

On behalf of employers anxious to hire, we urge you to end Wisconsin’s participation in the federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs and transition to pre-pandemic unemployment insurance eligibility and benefits as soon as possible.

CLICK HERE to read the entire letter.