March 25, 2017
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Midwest labor shortfall felt locally

Improved wage outlook continues to attract workers to area: survey


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BY REX DAVENPORT
rdavenport@kenoshanews.com


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In many ways, a labor shortage that continues to have an impact on the Midwest is being felt in Kenosha as well.

The difference here, however, is that a slightly better wage outlook continues to attract workers to the area.

Companies in the Midwest continue to experience labor shortages, according to the latest report from QPS Employment Group.

Of the companies surveyed, 63 percent have open positions that are not being filled due to lack of skilled candidates. Of those companies, 70 percent have as many as five current unfilled openings.

“(Approximately) 80 percent of companies said that they have considered offering more training for employees due to lack of available candidates, which jumped up from 64 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016,” said QPS President and Chiefl Sales Officer Mark Immekus. “Smart companies are taking an employee with potential and are willing to invest in training in order to keep their business running smoothly.”

Kenosha and Racine mostly track with the regional numbers, said Daniel Wendt, who manages local offices for the company.

“But with all of the warehouse jobs, hiring companies have had to be more competitive with their offerings to attract (new employees),” Wendt said. “Pay has gone up and companies are doing more to improve their on-boarding efforts. They have to compete (more vigorously). That's the difference between Kenosha and Racine and other parts of the region.”

Wendt noted that higher pay means workers are willing to drive a greater distance. “We tend to find that pay tends to equal distance people are willing to travel (to take a job),” he explained. “People are less likely to travel for an $8 an hour job. For $15 or $20 an hour, people will travel farther. There is a correlation between radius and pay.”

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Other survey findings

 Hiring Trends:53 percent will increase levels6 percent will decrease levels41 percent will remain the sameBusiness in the First Quarter:46 percent expect business to improve49 percent think that it will remain the same4 percent anticipate business to decline Wages:42 percent will increase wages0 percent will decrease wages58 percent will stay the same Biggest Issues Facing Companies:Lack of qualified employees: 65 percentHealthcare/Insurance costs: 37 percentThe economy: 32 percentGovernment Regulations: 21 percentMaterial Costs: 17 percent


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