MADISON, Wis. — Northern Wisconsin businesses that
are having trouble finding employees are hoping to lure retirees to
work or keep people nearing retirement on the job longer.
Economic development experts say low unemployment
rates, a lack of new workers and a growing number of people on the
cusp of retirement have created a major demand for workers,
Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
The unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in Barron
County and a 3.4 percent in Chippewa County in December, more than 1
percent less than the rates were in December 2016, according to the
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development .
There are currently 500 job vacancies in Barron
County, said Dave Armstrong, executive director of the county's
Economic Development Corp.
"I've got one employer that's looking to re-engage
even those that are retired, just to get the people with the
experience working," Armstrong said. "I've had other employers that
are trying to do everything they can to talk those that are
retirement age out of retiring because they don't want to lose that
Older workers who were let go during the Great
Recession will likely have a good chance at getting a job, said
Charlie Walker, president of the Chippewa County Economic
Development Corp. Companies also see younger workers as a
potentially good investment, he said.
"I think what (employers) are always looking for
is trying to see how long will someone stay with the company because
turnover is important," said Walker.
Companies will likely turn to automation since
it's unlikely the worker shortage will be solved any time soon,