Survey: worker shortage getting worse

The shortage of qualified and/or willing workers is getting worse and is holding back Wisconsin’s economy, according to a semi-annual survey conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. The survey of 306 business executives also showed concern about rising health care costs.

Seventy percent of survey respondents reported having trouble hiring employees, up from 64% in January and 53% a year ago. A lack of qualified applicants was the top reason given at 52%. Thirty-two percent said they are having trouble finding employees for all levels and fields.

Fifty-three percent of Wisconsin employers plan to hire in the next six months, down slightly from January. More than 70% see wages increasing by 2.1% or higher, including 36% who see wages increasing more than 3%.