Does Wisconsin's Workforce Suffer from a Skills Gap?

According to the business community, including the State Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobby, Wisconsin has a "skills gap." Put simply, that means employers cannot find people with the right skills and qualifications to hire for current job openings. Some economists, however, dispute these accounts. Their economic data show that the inability of Wisconsin businesses to fill skilled jobs has more to do with the wages on offer, the inadequacy of business investment in training, and some inefficiencies in the employment practices of some firms.

Who is right? You be the judge. The links below access a report (in pdf format) from a business group, Competitive Wisconsin, and a research study (in pdf format) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Economic Development.

Growing Wisconsin's Talent Pool, Competitive Wisconsin, April 1. 2012.

The Myth of a Skills Gap in Wisconsin: Research Update, Mark V. Levine, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development, March 2013.



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