Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wisconsin's "labor shortage" could be fixed. But not with the current crew in charge

Big, in=depth article in today's Wisconsin State Journal from Matthew DeFour on "Wisconsin's Looming Crisis: WORKERS WANTED." I view it as a positive sign to see this issue get a large amount of attention in the state's second-largest newspaper on a Sunday, but the reasons given shouldn't come as much of a surprise if you read this place...or have a set of eyes and an IQ above 80.
"Employers want workers with various sets of skills, but the pay can be very low," said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. "When you're seeing stagnating wages and lower benefit packages and that compensation isn't keeping up with inflation, why would workers want to pursue those sorts of things?"

Wage increases aren't always possible in a heavy manufacturing state like Wisconsin where competitive pressures have resulted in thin profit margins, said Sasha Wesolowski, human resources manager for Marquis Yachts in Pulaski. The company, which offers starting pay of $12.50 an hour, has advertised its several dozen job openings on billboards, on a local parade float and recently in postcards to many of the 1,000 workers it laid off before declaring bankruptcy during the recession.

"If we can't find the people, then we can't continue to increase production," Wesolowski said.
Hmmm, wonder what the problem is? Could it be that $12.50 AIN'T ENOUGH IN 2017, YOU DIPSHIT? Amazingly, Wesolowski later whines that if he paid people a higher salary to start, he'd have to raise other salaries too (the horror!), and that would make it "harder to maintain profitability." Then don't bitch about the situation that you aren't willing to fix, you greedhead.

This graphic in the article reveals the absurdity of Scott Walker and other GOP hacks saying "What's the problem? Our website has all sorts of jobs listed." The jobs don't pay a living wage, and there aren't enough people replacing the Boomers that are retiring.

When you don't have demographics on your side, you need to take on a strategy that tries to change those demographics. Unfortunately, things are going the other way in Wisconsin, and so it becomes even harder to find talent to fill jobs.
Wisconsin has certain characteristics that may intensify the shortage, such as an already high workforce participation rate, a broad manufacturing base that, as it increasingly automates, replaces high school graduates with more highly skilled workers, and a comparatively poor record of attracting college graduates.

"Having people moving into the state or even moving out or back in, it really energizes the economy," said UW-Madison economist Steven Deller. "Wisconsin doesn't seem to be doing a good job bringing people into the state."

Gee, you think that might have something to do with the regressive garbage that comes out of the State Capitol? This includes
1. Constant attacks on the UW System (including initiatives to put faculty "on the clock" instead of in the research lab),
2. Defunding of K-12 public education, and denigration of teachers and the teaching profession.
3. Slackening environmental standards for mining companies and other polluters like Foxconn.
4. Having fewer state dollars put into transit now than there were 7 years ago,
5. Social policies such as racist "divide and conquer" voting laws and rhetoric in media, and adding Inquisitions into payments to Planned Parenthood for women's medical services.

Being an icebox for 5 months a year is already something that works against Wisconsin, and makes it difficult to get people to choose to come here. But the backwards steps we have taken during the Age of Fitzwalkerstan have made it much worse. Look at the difference between us and an even colder state with a similar population since Wisconsin chose a Republican governor in 2010, and the other state chose a Democrat that same year.

Population, 2010-2016
Wisconsin 5,687,289
Minnesota 5,303,924

Wisconsin 5,778,708 (+91,419 +1.61%)
Minnesota 5,519,952 (+216,028, +4.07%)

Think things would be different regarding this "worker shortage" if Wisconsin had another 125,000 people coming to it in the last 6 years? Let's note these stats as well.

Job growth, QCEW, March 2011- March 2017
Wisconsin +202,677 (+9.15%)
Minnesota +259,727 (+12.04%)

average weekly private-sector wage, March 2017
Minnesota $1,171
Wisconsin $931

average weekly manufacturing wage, March 2017
Minnesota $1,306
Wisconsin $1,131

Any questions from you on why we've fallen behind Minnesota so much? Not many from here, other than "How soon can we fire these pro-corporate dimwits running Wisconsin's government?"

PS- Great article here from the Tim Slekar, the Dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison. He notes that the lower take-home pay and prestige given to teaching has led to an understandable shortage of new talent wanting to enter the profession, which leads to WisGOP trying to play "race to the bottom" on who can be a teacher.
Enough with the teacher “shortage” narrative!

When teachers are leaving their jobs across the state and enrollment in teacher prep programs is at an all time low you don’t have a “labor shortage.” You have a toxic work place environment (Walker and Act 10). A toxicity that has spurred an EXODUS from the classrooms of our children and a plummeting enrollment in teacher preparation programs.

Once you come to terms with this fact, then understanding how a “fast track” no standards-teacher prep program landed in the budget is simple. Politicians don’t want real teachers. They want cheap labor that won’t question a work place environment that has created a mental heath crisis.
And if the quality of teaching goes down, people aren't going to want to move their families to Wisconsin, and the "labor shortage" in other areas will get even worse.

And yet the WMC and MMAC oligarch organizations back every one of these anti-education and regressive GOP policies. Maybe this guy isn't so good when it comes to dealing with 21st Century economic reality. No wonder why he's so upset.


  1. LOL Said by the dipshit who's never had to meet a payroll in his life, and who depends on the taxpayer for his paycheck.

    1. Says the dead-end troll who sucks Koch for a living.

      Your jealousy from the declining W(HITE TRA)sh Co is noted and palpable. But hey, you won't have to worry about competition for whatever disposable gig you apply for in that cesspool. To you, that's probably "winning."

  2. Do you ever get comments from Republicans or conservatives that aren't ad hominems and non sequiturs?

    1. No. I've had some legit criticisms lodged on the comments over the years, and have no problem with it if the person knows what they're talking about. But Bradley Boy and other GOPs generally are incapable of getting beyond adolescent trash talking.