Most wages didn’t keep up with inflation in 2022, labor force participation among Wisconsin women fell to its lowest levels since the late 1980s and the state’s unionization rate continues to decrease. That’s according to a new report, titled “The State of Working Wisconsin 2023,” from the COWS economic think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Currently, more than 40% of Milwaukee residents are working in what a new report by Center of Wisconsin Strategy, or COWS, defines as “bad jobs.” COWS is a research and policy center at UW-Madison.
Wisconsin saw record job growth and low unemployment in 2022, while racial pay inequities eased. At the same time, inflation erased wage gains for many, women fell out of the workforce, and union activity dropped. We explore the State of Working Wisconsin 2023 with one of the report’s co-authors.
Still, COWS Associate Director Laura Dresser notes workers in the state are “seizing the opportunity” presented by the tight labor market to secure better jobs, or higher wages in their current position. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hit a record-low 2.4 percent earlier this year before ticking up to 2.6 percent in July.
The State of Working Wisconsin 2023, published by COWS, a Wisconsin research and policy analysis center, paints a mixed picture of conditions for people who work for a living in the Badger State — hopeful and challenging at the same time.
“It’s especially evident that workers with lower wages have made the strongest gains,” says Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS, in a news release. “Their progress is helping reduce some of Wisconsin’s most troubling inequities.”
“Workers are seizing the opportunity provided by tight labor markets to find better jobs or improve the ones they are staying in,” COWS associate director Laura Dresser said in a press release.
In this episode, host Marc Goldberg interviews Tillamook Bay Community College graduate and current college Success Coach and adjunct welding faculty Jude Schlotzhauer, college President Dr. Ross Tomlin and Laura Dresser, associate director at COWS, a research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Beyond wages, Laura Dresser, associate director of the COWS economic think tank at UW-Madison, said the tight labor market also gives workers more leverage to negotiate with their employers for more flexible hours or to …
As Goes Wisconsin welcomes Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS, to talk about the obstacles people face when it comes to being a part of the workforce and what policies could actually fix that. Listen …