Wisconsin businesses struggle with worker shortage

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MADISON — Economists, employers and government officials say a growing worker shortage in Wisconsin is expected to increase over the next decade.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the worker shortage is due to many factors, including a low unemployment rate, an aging population and Wisconsin’s poor record of attracting college graduates.

Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent in July, down from a peak of 9.2 percent in January 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says job openings have outpaced new hires for the past two years.

Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance Director Ann Franz says the shortage is expected to worsen as more baby boomers retire.

Phil Neuenfeldt is president of labor union Wisconsin AFL-CIO. He says some jobs’ wages and benefits packages aren’t enough to attract workers.