By Tim Kowols
A historically low labor participation rate could be the reason why unemployment rates look better than they seem. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate currently sits at 4.1 percent according to the Department of Workforce Development, its lowest level since 2007. While the state’s labor force participation is 5.6 percent higher than the national rate, the number is still hovering at its lowest level since the 1970s. While the President’s Council of Economic Advisers pointed to aging trends and business cycles for the decline, N.E.W. Industries owner Chris Moore suggests there are other factors causing a tightening in the labor market.
N.E.W. Industries offers training programs at its facility in Sturgeon Bay and other education assistance programs to help attract new workers to the manufacturer. Moore says this has been the most difficult time in hiring people for his business in the 16 years he has owned N.E.W. Industries.