CEO, President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce asks Evers to end unemployment benefits

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - The hiring signs are hung up in windows at businesses all across the state, but leaders say they are having trouble finding help.

Some of those business community leaders are blaming the enhanced unemployment benefits, such as the extra $300 a week some people are getting because of the pandemic.

The state’s largest business lobby - the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) - recently released a survey which says 86% of Wisconsin businesses are struggling to hire workers. Action 2 News reported on this survey just last week.

RELATED: Survey reveals 86% of area businesses are struggling to hire

Sunday morning on UPFRONT, which airs on WBAY-TV, the CEO and President of the WMC called on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to end those unemployment benefits, calling the workforce shortage an emergency.

As previously reported, Evers has said he does not plan on ending the benefits anytime soon.

RELATED: UPFRONT: Evers discusses likely veto of legislation regarding unemployment benefit, COVID-19 vaccination goal

“How many people are sitting at home when they should be working and getting $300 and being lazy? I mean really, there is no data to say this is going to fill 20 jobs, or this is going to fill 20,000 jobs,” said Evers.

“Look, the governor acknowledged on your show that we have a population gap. Basically, he is admitting we have more jobs than people, so that I think is pretty strong evidence that we don’t need this enhancement, this $300 per week enhancement to unemployment,” said Kurt Bauer of the WMC. “There are plenty of jobs out there in the Wisconsin economy we need to get back to work for this economy to rebuild after the pandemic.”

The WMC’s survey shows the greatest needs are for skilled workers - such as manufacturing - and the next one is entry level positions.

As previously reported by Action 2 News, Wisconsin GOP lawmakers and business leaders have called for an end to extra unemployment benefits, saying it is affecting the ability of businesses to hire employees.

Businesses in multiple tourist hot spots, such as Door County and the Wisconsin Dells, have said they are operating with a smaller staff.

RELATED: Wisconsin Legislature votes to end extra unemployment

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