Sunday, March 03, 2013

"Skills Shortage"? Maybe Not

As you might expect, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is unhappy with this study.

More research has come out disputing widespread claims that Wisconsin faces a crippling “skills gap” that is holding employers back from hiring.

The latest counter-argument comes from Marc Levine, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor of history, economic development and urban studies, and founding director of UWM’s Center for Economic Development.

(He was also the lone academic voice disputing the Selig/Thompson "economic benefit" foofoodust about the new Selig playground called Miller Park.  The guy has cojones, anyway.)

Here's the key line from the study--which line was avoided by the WMC's non-denial denial statement:

“If Wisconsin employers were encountering a shortage of skilled labor, wages would be going up, but in Wisconsin real wages have declined since 2000,” Levine said. “By contrast, in states such as North Dakota and Wyoming, where there really is demand for and a shortage of skilled labor, caused by a boom in the energy sector, real wages have jumped by double digits since 2000.”

WMC prefers to evade that little Econ 101 law about supply/demand/price-line.

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