State economist offers solutions to worker shortage

Dennis Winters, the chief economist for the state Department of Workforce Development, spoke Tuesday at an in-person event in Madison hosted by the Madison International Trade Association, and said the Badger State needs to boost immigration, reduce barriers to jobs, and lean on new technologies to improve the workforce shortage.

According to a report from WisBusiness, Winters noted that Wisconsin’s population is projected to grow over the next decade, but the state’s labor force is expected to remain at current levels or possibly even decrease by 2035.

Winters called for a shift in immigration policy to allow more foreign workers to contribute to the state economy, and also said the state should work to eliminate barriers to “the chronically unemployed,” such as a lack of transportation, housing, drug addiction, and other factors. Winters added that training programs for workers should align with the emerging technologies needed to compete globally.