As the United States comes out of the pandemic, the economy has picked up steam and the hospitality industry is leading the charge to hire new workers and get back to pre-pandemic employment numbers. With over 40% of Wisconsinites vaccinated, we are beginning to see long-anticipated increases in business. The major problem facing most businesses is a lack of workers. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 6.1% while it is 3.8% in Wisconsin.
There are more job openings today than there were prior to March 2020, yet employers are struggling to fill available positions. A major contributing factor is that, in many cases, federal unemployment benefits pay more than an available job, especially in the hospitality industry.
To address the job shortage in Wisconsin, Sen. Marklein and Speaker Vos introduced Workforce Recovery Legislation which they say will encourage unemployed individuals to return-to-work. The legislation will end Wisconsin’s participation in the federal unemployment compensation enhancement program, as well as
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program
The legislation also prohibits DWD from waiving the work search requirements for any reason related to COVID.
The legislators say 21 other states have opted out of the federal unemployment insurance benefit enhancers which expire on September 6, 2021 unless the federal government extends it.
The bill is likely to pass the Legislature but must be signed by Governor Evers to take effect. The Governor has not indicated his position on the proposed legislation.
Contact your legislator to support the Workforce Recovery Act.