WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - More employers are now looking to hire.
Tom Younger is the Area Director for the Department of Workforce Development, and works out of the Wausau Job Center. He says the employment news is not all bad.
He says that there was a slight rise in unemployment, but he is very encouraged by the number of employers looking for new hires last week. “Last week was the highest week we have ever done as far as individual job openings requested by our businesses in Wisconsin. We processed almost 24 hundred individual requests from Wisconsin businesses to hire someone, and a request could be one person or it could be ten. That’s in one week, which is just tremendous for Wisconsin’s economy.”
Younger says there needs to be a little more balance locally in the available jobs, as some sectors are doing better while others are still trying to get back on track. “I will make my pitch here. If we could build some houses, we would be booming again. Our housing industry still needs to get more traction. Our metal working industry in this part of the state is absolutely flooded with orders, and it’s been just tremendous.”
There has been a lot of attention lately about the so-called skills gap, where available people don’t have the exact skills employers need right now. Younger says they see evidence of that every day, but the Job Center has programs, counseling, and training partners like the technical schools to help bridge that gap. Younger says, “How do you tell a job seeker, You know you really do need to upgrade your skills? There are programs here at the Job Center that can help them to do that. Obviously, they have to qualify for them and there are some steps.”
Younger says if you haven’t had to look for a job in several years but need one now, you should stop into your nearest Wisconsin Job Center. He says it is not simply a list of openings and a list of job seekers like it was 25 years ago. There are specialized programs for veterans, workers displaced by foreign competition, skills assessment tools, career counselling, and several other helpful services that didn’t exist back then.
There are several programs and services to help employers, too.