Labor lacking across stateA new report released Labor Day reveals that there's not much cause for celebration in Wisconsin's labor market.
By: Kristen Durst, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A new report released Labor Day reveals that there's not much cause for celebration in Wisconsin's labor market.
The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) -- a University of Wisconsin economic policy group -- has just released its latest report, titled The State of Working Wisconsin. It analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the Economic Policy Institute, and others.
COWS’ associate director, Laura Dresser, says their findings are not overly surprising.
"The economy -- which really collapsed starting in September of 2008 -- hasn't really come back in any meaningful way for working people in the state,” say says. “We still have high rates of unemployment, we've lost a lot of jobs, and I think workers that don't have jobs are feeling pretty desperate and workers that do have jobs many of them feel pretty nervous."
Dresser says Wisconsin has 155,000 fewer jobs today than it did at the start of the recession. She says the biggest losses have been in manufacturing, which accounts for roughly a fifth of Wisconsin's economy.
"The manufacturing job base was hit very hard in the 2001 recession in the state, and then again in this recession. The two hits taken together have reduced one in four of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs. We run at just over 400,000 jobs at the start of the decade. At the start of the century we had 600,000 manufacturing jobs."
Dresser says manufacturing has added some jobs this year, but not at rate sufficient enough.
Wisconsin's unemployment rate has doubled over the course of the recession, and – based on July numbers -- stands currently at 7.8 percent.