Sunday, December 20, 2015

Scotty still doesn't know our "skills gap" is a wage and talent gap

Well this is a nice bit of confidence in the state of Wisconsin's workers from our dear leader.
Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin continues to rank relatively low in job creation because not enough people are ready to join the workforce....

"Employers have increasingly told us, we've seen it even in some of the Chamber (of Commerce) surveys, that until we can get more people in the workforce, employers aren't going to add more work until they can fill the positions that are vacant right now," Walker said.

He said he doesn't know many additional jobs be created but pointed out that Wisconsin ranks relatively high in the percentage of people in the workforce.
I understand that school and facts didn't exactly treat you well, Governor. But you might want to note this stat from the recently-released Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages, and I think it might help you identify a source of this problem.

Average weekly manufacturing wage, QCEW June 2015
Ill. $1,183
Mich $1,181
Minn $1,124
Ind. $1,101
Ohio $1,063
Wis. $1,022
Iowa $1,021

So manufacturing workers are making an average of more than $100 a week in 3 of the 4 states bordering Wisconsin. If you were a skilled worker, and you had a choice of working in those 4 states, would you pick the place that paid you the least?

The answer is obvious, Scotty. You want to get more people into the skilled labor work force in Wisconsin, and fill those vacant positions? Why don't you tell the "employers" and Chamber of Commerce members to pay a competitive, higher wage. And how about not promoting wage-suppressing measures like (right-to) work-for-less, and getting rid of prevailing wage requirements on local road projects?

If you don't understand how these two items are connected, you are too incompetent to be running a hotdog stand, let alone our state. I'd also encourage you to read this letter that appeared yesterday at from David Maki, an actual business owner in the Twin Cities.
I run a successful technology business based out of Minneapolis. Five years ago I was considering moving my family and business to northern Wisconsin. One reason I was considering the move is that northern Wisconsin is my ancestral homeland, and my parents and other extended family still live there. I had also recently inherited land which I intended to homestead.

My plans changed when it became apparent what a backward ideologue Gov. Walker is. I refuse to move my family and business until Walker's disgraceful tenure is over. Even then, the damage his administration has caused to the state of Wisconsin has made me reconsider my plans.

While I would still like to make the move for personal reasons, I'm afraid Wisconsin's reputation as a place that does not value education or forward thinking would tarnish my personal and professional reputation.
Maybe, just maybe, we should heed Mr. Maki's words, and do more to attract talent to the state. This seems better than the Scott Walker/WMC mentality of running things on the cheap without giving workers a say in their own futures, and then being confused when no one wants to work for such a bunch of regressive fools.

It's well past time to change the course.


  1. Those wage numbers aren't adjusted for the cost of living. When you do, you get:

    Average weekly PPP manufacturing wage, QCEW June 2015
    Mich $1,291
    Ind. $1,257
    Ill. $1,226
    Ohio $1,133
    Minn $1,122
    Iowa $1,111
    Wis. $1,040

    As a state we are not really competing with Iowa for who can provide the least value of compensation in the manufacturing sector in this part of the country, we are very much on our own at the bottom of the table.

    1. Yikes, that's a good point. There's no metro area like SE Wisconsin or the exurbs of the Twin Cities in Iowa to drive up wages, which makes us look even worse.

      And they act so surprised that they can't find anyone to work for them.

  2. Maybe in Walkers case it is just "projection" again.

    Walker has no skills or talent to govern or perform any kind of job, therefore, Wisconsin workers have no skills to do any jobs.

    I don't think it would be the first time this has happened.