High jobs figures could underline the start of the rebound from the great resignation | local government

The latest Wisconsin workforce data shows positive growth in the state’s unemployment rate and labor force participation, which state officials say could be a sign of a a potential recovery from the surge in quits caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.



The Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for March fell to 2.8%, according to preliminary estimates. The DWD will update the official state unemployment rate for March next month, while the finalized rate for February came in at 2.9%, tied with an all-time low.

During the Axios Live event “The Pandemic Pivot: Small Business Recovery,” Axios Cities Correspondent Kim Hart interviewed Camille Carter, President of the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce. Carter responded to McKinsey’s recent projection report showing that up to 34% of employers’ small businesses in Wisconsin could permanently close in the first four months, including through July, due to the pandemic. “I think we’re really aligned with those stats and those percentages,” Carter said and added that small business owners in her network are struggling to rebuild, but a number have closed. Carter also addressed the impact of the George Floyd protests on their business community. “It’s an awakening moment on all levels, so what we’re seeing as a chamber is that we need to depend on each other and engage.”

Watch the full program: https://wiseye.org/2020/07/01/axios-live-the-pandemic-pivot-small-business-recovery/

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Officials also noted that the state had a record 3,056,200 people employed last month, according to preliminary data, which also underscores a strong overall economy. The news comes as many industries in the state continue to struggle with labor shortage issues.

“We’ve heard about the big resignation, but that’s changing somewhat,” DWD chief economist Dennis Winters said at a Thursday press briefing. “We’re getting some data on older workers, basically baby boomers, coming back into the workforce. The causes are unclear.”

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Winters added that time will tell if this workforce trend will continue.

“It will be an important determinant of the overall labor force participation rate, which will then be an important determinant of how important job quantities are,” he said.

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State officials said March’s preliminary unemployment rate of 2.8% marks a record high for the state, though previous estimates hit that level as recently as December 2021, though the rate of that month was then revised to 3.1%.

The state’s finalized unemployment rate reached 2.9% in February of this year, March 2020 and the months of January, February and March 2018.

Despite the positive growth, Winters said persistent labor challenges continue to hamper economic growth not only in Wisconsin, but also in domestic and global markets.

We just don’t have the staff,” he said. “That’s why the associated technology and training is key to bringing them together to increase that productivity in the future so that economies can grow and living standards can rise.” It’s not just Wisconsin, the talent gap is global.”

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