Skip Navigation
UW-Milwaukee - Center for Economic Development

Technical Assistance Report Abstract

Labor Market Research Update for the High Wage Dislocated Worker Project, September 1997, by Pamela S. Fendt


This labor market research report uses newly released data on wages in metropolitan Milwaukee as the basis for compiling information on occupations in targeted industrial sectors that could provide reemployment possibilities for dislocated workers being served by the Workforce Connections project. The research process included an analysis of every occupation listed in the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's 1997 Wage Survey that pays $12.00 or more per hour in starting wages. Of the 738 occupations listed in the survey, 315 of them (43%) fit this category. However, 179 of these 315 ccupations are in the Executive, Managerial, and Administrative or Professional fields, which makes them out of reach, by experience or training, to the typical worker dislocated from a manufacturing establishment. Information about the remaining 136 occupations that pay $12.00 or more per hour in starting wages can be found in the charts at the end of this document. For those project participants who may qualify for a job in the Executive or Professional categories, a summary list of those occupations and their wages are included as Appendix 1.

The data from the state's wage survey demonstrates the primary obstacle facing this project's attempts to employ dislocated workers in high wage jobs. There simply are not very many occupations in this region that pay high starting wages, and there is often not a good match between the skills of the dislocated workers and the requirements of the jobs. The wage goal of the project limits the available options for employment to 18% of the total occupations. Another way to make this point is to note that the Metropolitan Milwaukee Average Starting Wage for all of the occupations covered in the Department of Workforce Development's survey is $10.32 per hour. This represents 80% of the $12.95 project's wage goal for Milwaukee County, and 72% of the $14.42 wage goal for project employment in Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha Counties. While it is true that employment can be found at wages that exceed the average pay rate listed in the state survey, the project must still rely on comprehensively collected data such as this if it wants to fulfill the objective of utilizing labor market research in the job placement process. In addition, less formal comparisons of the state data with Job Service job orders, newspaper want ads, and the Jobnet listings available on-line have shown a high degree of agreement between the survey data and other listings of occupational pay rates.

Return to Technical Assistance Reports