The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute provides
technical assistance to the
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), the City of Milwaukee, NAACP,
and nonprofits. Research and
policy papers detail the demographics of low-income working families and identify the strengths
and availability of the central city labor force.
An analysis of Wisconsin's Mass Incarceration of African American Males found that over half of Milwaukee County black men in their 30s have served time in state prison. From 1990 to 2012 the African American men from Milwaukee County were imprisoned for over 42.6 million days (or almost 117,000 years) at a cost in 2012 prices of $91 per day, totaling $3.38 billion. In addition to 26,222 men with prison records, another 27,000 working age men have driver's license suspensions and revocations -- many for failure to pay fines and civil forfeitures (rather than unsafe driving). Of particular concern are 16-17-year-old teens not getting driver's education in school (with cutoff of state aids for driver's ed) or acquiring a legal driver's license. A follow-up study on Statewide Imprisonment of Black Men in Wisconsin found incarceration rates for African American men at epidemic levels throughout Wisconsin and not just in Milwaukee County.
See the editorial by John Pawasarat on "Mass incarceration of black males must stop" in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the article by MJS columnist James Causey on "Second chances? Not for black men with criminal records." .
Employment of African Americans and Latinos was examined for Milwaukee area construction firms with 100+ workers who are required to file annual EEO-1 reports on the race/ethnicity and gender of their workforce. The study on Who's Building Milwaukee: Race/Ethnicity of Employees in the Largest Construction Firms in the Milwaukee Area showed African Americans holding less than 4% of jobs and Latinos 4%. Almost no minority women work for these firms in any capacity; only 1% of all employees were minority females. No minorities held executive or senior manager positions in the largest Milwaukee area construction firms, and only 3 minorities held these positions in the largest companies throughout the state. The low levels of minorities employed by the largest construction firms are troubling on several levels. First is the concern that current Milwaukee workers are not obtaining employment in these industries -- even on projects supported by state and federal funds. Secondly, is the concern that these low employment levels send a message to minority youth about their few possible job prospects should they pursue technical trades.
A "Milwaukee Plan" for Construction Trade Apprenticeships? Workforce Challenges for 2014 examines the levels of minority apprentices that would be expected to meet the goals by the Nixon Administration (patterned after the "Philadelphia Plan") to bring African Americans and other minorities into the construction trades in numbers proportional to their workforce populations.
ETI researchers used the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEO-1 reports from companies with 100+ employers for a study on Who's Building Milwaukee? Race/Ethnicity of Employees in the Largest Construction Firms in the Milwaukee Area None of the executives or senior managers running the largest construction firms in the Milwaukee area and only 3 of the top administrators of large firms throughout Wisconsin were nonwhite. Minorities are reaching 50% of the population among youth in the Milwaukee metro area and are a significant portion of the adult population, but little evidence was seen of affirmative action commitment or enforcement by the state Department of Workforce Development. Notably, the number of African American employed in blue collar work was very low -- particularly in the skilled trades -- and has been worsening.
Additional ETI studies include:
A review of apprenticeship records from the state Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards for Milwaukee area joint apprenticeship committees and contractors showed African Americans losing a disproportionate share of apprentice jobs during the recession and posting a higher rate of unassigned apprentices than any other racial/ethnic group. The higher unemployment rate for African American apprentices cannot be explained by the "last hired, first fired" adage. On average, African Americans who were unassigned had started their apprenticeship programs 11 months before the unassigned white apprentices.
The laid-off workforce receiving unemployment insurance payments in Spring and in Fall of 2009 was examined to assist the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board in meeting the needs of unemployed workers. Over half of UI workers were on permanent lay-off; high concentrations of workers who had exhausted their benefits worked in temp agencies, postal delivery services, communications, finance, and administrative support; those qualifying for lowest benefits worked in day care and food/drink/accommodations; and inner city men and women showed lower UI benefits. (See 3-page summary.)
A four-step process is outlined for identifying job responsibilities and transferable skills for public service jobs using online resources. 1995 ETI reprints (Part One and Part Two) provide background materials for 57 potential CSJ job titles, and sample O*NET resources are identified which can be used at no cost.
The 2008 results from the American Community Survey were used to describe black male populations in Milwaukee County by age and work status including: an estimated 40,482 employed teens and adults and 912 teens and 7,026 adults unemployed (i.e., available for work, made at least 1 attempt in the last 4 weeks to look for a job). The teen and adult populations NOT in the labor force (N=18,926) included students; persons receiving SSI, social security, and retirement income; other disabled persons not looking for employment; and persons in institutions (jails, prisons, nursing homes). The residential population (N=5,105) not actively seeking work was examined for length of time since their last employment. with 734 employed within the last 12 months, 1,274 employed from 1-5 years ago, and 3,097 not employed in over 5 years or never employed. (See 2-page drilldown summary.)
An analysis of 48,131 recently laid-off workers living in Milwaukee County and drawing unemployment insurance showed most of prime working age -- 80% are ages 25 through 59 and only 8% are aged 60 and above. The UI recipients included a number of difficult-to-serve populations: 7,232 ex-offenders in the state Department of Corrections system, 5,240 W-2 (TANF) clients, and 2,097 additional single parents who had participated in the state subsidized child care system and had children under age 6. The downturn in the economy was felt throughout Milwaukee County with 30% of the UI recipients living in the suburbs and 70% in the city of Milwaukee. However, 95% of those with exhausted benefits were city rather than suburban residents. (See 3-page summary.)
A review of currently licensed professionals residing in Milwaukee County was conducted for seven key health occupations: 9,290 registered nurses, 1.936 licensed practical nurses, 422 dental hygienists, 540 occupational therapists, 140 occupational therapy assistants, 648 physical therapists, and 205 physical therapist assistants. Demographics of each occupation, numbers of newly credentialed residents, and retention rates by field are explored. (See 2-page drilldown summary.)
Larger private sector companies are reporting far fewer workers engaged in blue collar manual labor (as skilled craftsmen, semi-skilled operatives, and unskilled laborers) than a decade ago, according to EEO reports filed by companies with 100+ workers. The largest increases were seen for professionals and managerial staff. Although the largest minority population in the Milwaukee area, African Americans lagged behind both Hispanics and Asians in their employment gains in the private sector. The highest concentrations of African Americans are employed as service workers and office workers. Hispanics show their largest numbers as laborers, operatives, and service workers. Asian Americans show concentration as professionals and operatives. (See 2-page summary.)
The state Department of Corrections (DOC) ex-offender population of adults released to Milwaukee County or on probation and parole has reached 31,152. Another 10,894 Milwaukee County adults were currently incarcerated. The DOC ex-offender population is up by 4,380 over the 26,772 released population examined by ETI based on 2006 data. Only 6% of released offenders have a valid driver's license, and only 8% of adults on probation and parole can legally drive to jobs throughout the metro area. (See 2-page summary.)
Technical assistance project for the WOW Workforce Investment Board Inc. and Regional Training Alliance examined the labor market for welders and technical college training programs, and conducted a targeted survey of welder job openings and anticipated needs in Southeast Wisconsin. Student-friendly background materials were also prepared on Learning About the Welding Job Market.
Report Cards on African American and Minority Participation in Construction Trade Apprenticeships in the Milwaukee Area: A Two-Year Progress Report by individual companies (for 519 firms) and construction trades (for 18 joint apprenticeship committees) (2008)
A two-year update prepared in collaboration with the NAACP Milwaukee Branch identified companies increasing their apprenticeship training for African Americans. Since the Report Card on Minority and Female Participation in Construction Trade Apprentices in the Milwaukee Area: Who's in the Pipeline for Skilled Construction Trades was prepared 2 years ago, 85 companies have increased their numbers of African American apprentices. The NAACP has issued a series of recommendations.
This technical assistance model, developed with funding from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, uses large institutional databases (including the state wage match file, driver's license records, state corrections files, and TANF computer records) to identify employment-related barriers, target employment interventions, and increase post-program performance. High volume urban TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and WIA (Workforce Investment Act) providers will benefit most from this data-driven model which can also be implemented at a state level to assist smaller WIA service areas and to enhance post-program outcomes statewide.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board has launched a series on "No License: A Roadblock to Work" with recommendations addressing the large number of Milwaukee County workers with suspended and revoked driver's licenses for failure to pay municipal fines.
An estimated 40% of African American men ages 25-29 living in Milwaukee County have done time in state correctional facilities, according to an analysis of the Department of Correction (DOC) records. This report, prepared for Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County, examines the legal and employment needs of the 26,772 adults who have been released from DOC facilities and the 10,308 adults currently serving time as of June 2006, including lack of driver's licenses and low educational levels. Recommendations are provided.
This paper identifies fields where targeted training for youth offers opportunities for career building, long-term employment, and family-sustaining jobs to assist the Private Industry Council and the new Department of Labor Job Corps Center opening in Milwaukee. The driver's license issue is also discussed as a critical employment competency.
Training needs are identified for high demand occupations served by Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County. Six occupational areas are examined: health care workers, manufacturing openings, computer specialists, selected service occupations, clerking and administrative support jobs, and jobs requiring a valid driver's license or commercial driver's license. (2006)
An emerging occupation in health industries requires workers with "hybrid skills," including a mix of clerical, computer, communication and interpersonal skills combined with an understanding of medical procedures and terminology.
Report cards are provided for 475 Milwaukee area companies with 1,500 construction trade apprentices, working with 14 Milwaukee and Waukesha area joint apprenticeship committees (JACs), one statewide committee, and one non-union program. Milwaukee companies are currently preparing 11 white apprentices for every 1 African American apprentice entering the skilled trades, and preparing 14 whites for every 1 Hispanic apprentice entering the skilled trades. The study was prepared jointly with the NAACP Milwaukee Branch, who developed a series of recommendations for improving access of minorities to the skilled trades.
Worksite analysis and maps using Census 2000 place-of-work data only recently made available show where white, African American and Latino workers are employed. These data files (the Census Transportation Planning Package, CTPP2000) allow a first-time examination of census place-of-work data from the perspective of central city neighborhoods and racial/ethnic groups. Similar data tables are available from the Employment and Training Institute's interactive drilldown website.
A first-time analysis of drivers license status of Wisconsin adults by race/ethnicity, sex, and geography finds that 78% of young African American men (ages 18-24) and 66% of young African American women in Wisconsin do not have a valid drivers license. Over half (57%) of young Hispanic men and 63% of young Hispanic women also do not have valid licenses. A large number of licensed drivers have had their licenses suspended or revoked, many for failure to pay fines and forfeitures rather than for traffic points violations. License files show 89,489 Milwaukee County adults and 237,434 adults in the balance of the state with recent license suspensions or revocations.
Analysis of the pool of licensed nurses and public school teachers in Wisconsin shows fewer women seeking out these occupations, the aging of both populations, and increasing numbers of retirees (teachers at age 55 or shortly thereafter, and nurses leaving the profession before retirement age). The small number of African Americans and Hispanics entering the nursing profession raises concerns about the future stability of this critical workforce.
This report, also available in HTML format, identifies demographic trends that will affect the availability of labor for Milwaukee area companies in the next decade. Metro Milwaukee has the youngest African American population among the 100 largest metro areas and the 9th youngest Latino population. Minorities will constitute a growing portion of the labor force as the older white population shows substantial baby boomer retirements.
Job Openings Surveys (1993-present)
Job vacancy studies detail job titles, rate of pay, education and training required, jobsite location and whether the job is considered difficult to fill for full-time and part-time openings in the seven-county Milwaukee Region. Surveys have been conducted since May 1993. Milwaukee was the first major city in the nation to regularly study job openings to assess jobs available and skill needs. The Milwaukee surveys were adopted as a national model by the U.S. Congress, and the Milwaukee approach is used by at least 15 states, major metro areas, and urban and rural counties. A manual on how to survey job vacancies in local labor markets is available online.
The report uses state driver's license, suspension and revocation files to assess the impact of legislation which allowed municipal and circuit courts to place driver's license suspensions on juveniles who fail to pay juvenile fines.
This report examines employment patterns of private companies in the Milwaukee metropolitan area with 100 or more employees for the four period from 1992-1996. Analysis focuses on net job growth by racial/ethnic category, gender, occupational grouping and industrial sector.
This paper examines driver's license records, suspensions and revocations and analyzes the impact of using driver's license suspensions as a method of collecting unpaid fines and forfeitures. Patterns of license suspensions are analyzed for AFDC cases, central city teens and adults in Milwaukee County.
This study examines receipt of child care subsidies by AFDC and other low-income families over a 21-month period, explores barriers to utilization, and analyzes numbers of child care providers earning over and under $12,000 a year in subsidies.
This report shows the earnings of 7,502 families leaving AFDC and presents a methodology for reporting timely data on "W-2" outcomes using existing state data on employment and earnings.
This study examines 42,120 jobs held by single parents on AFDC and provides baseline data which can be used to measure any improvement in job retention and employment success under "W-2."
This report provides data on occupational shifts in the available Milwaukee area labor force (1980-1990), labor force availability by industry, educational background of the Milwaukee area labor force, employment by location for women and minorities, minority employment patterns by industrial sector, and analysis of employers' minority employment levels.
This report analyzes 36,005 jobs held by 7,456 Wisconsin young African American men and 5,863 Milwaukee males teens whose families had contact with the welfare system in 1987, 1988 or 1989. Perspectives on the findings are provided by Dr. Harold M. Rose (Professor of Geography and Urban Studies) and Ronald S. Edari (Associate Professor of Sociology).
Monthly drilldown reports were prepared in collaboration with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and summarized important labor market and employment trends along with usage of federal and state support programs for workers and families in the aftermath of the economic recession. All Drilldowns.
November 2012 -- Single parent tax filers (with dependents) in innercity Milwaukee had a 26% decrease in state earned income tax credits in 2011 as a result of state legislation lowering the credit for "working poor" families with 2 or more children.
October 2012 -- The Census data on commuting patterns for workers in the Milwaukee Region continues to show a local rather than regional labor market for Milwaukee County workers. Only 2% of Milwaukee County workers are employed in the southern counties of the region (including Racine, Kenosha and Walworth), while 80% are employed within Milwaukee County, 14% in Waukesha County, and 3% in Ozaukee and Washington counties. These patterns are similar to those reported a decade ago.
September 2012 -- Larger Milwaukee area companies reported rebounds in employment in manufacturing along with job growth in temp agencies in 2011 compared to 2010, according to the companies' EEO-1 filings. Four major sectors, however, showed continuing job losses: information, health care/social assistance, accommodations/food services, and construction.
August 2012 -- Over 12,000 city of Milwaukee teens (and 3,000 suburban teens) ages 16-17 lack a driver's license or instruction permit even though the license is a critical asset for employment. The State of Wisconsin has discontinued state aids for driver's education while requiring that school age youth participate in a school or commercial driving program as a condition for obtaining their license. Paying for a driving course, maintaining a working vehicle, and securing insurance coverage for a teen (particularly in inner city zipcodes where insurance rates are highest) is a costly undertaking for many financially strapped families. Thousands of Milwaukee teens drive even though they have not taken driver's education, do not have a license, and cannot afford auto insurance.
July 2012 -- African American males lost 24% of blue collar jobs with midsize and large private companies in the Milwaukee metro area during the first 2 years of the recession. Companies with 100 or more workers are required to report on the race/ethnicity of their workforce by occupational area but most are not required to meet affirmative action standards. Convincing African American youth to pursue vocational and technical training in skilled and semi-skilled fields will be far more challenging given the large numbers of men in the community who have recently lost jobs in these fields.
June 2012 -- Driver's license revocations have dropped 67% for county residents since 2009 under state legislative reforms initiated by the Center for Driver's License Recovery and Employability. License suspensions for "failure to pay forfeiture" (FPF) increased statewide during the recession.
May 2012 -- State and local residents continue to rely on federal help for their food costs. Housing foreclosure filings have passed 40,000 in Milwaukee County (2005 to present).
April 2012 - The BLS/DWD data showed decreases in employment throughout Wisconsin and in the metro area during 2011. Spring 2012 employment is still well below the Fall 2012 levels. The CES reported a very small gain (+0.1%) in employment among Milwaukee metro area establishments, compared to a small job decline (-0.4%) in the balance of the state (Jan. 2011 to Mar. 2012). Numbers are not seasonally adjusted to show differences by month.
March 2012 -- According to the CES data, two major sectors in the Milwaukee metro area showed employment increases since the fall -- durable manufacturing and private-sector educational services.
February 2012 -- The health care safety net for adults without dependent children at home has been weakened with 14,300 fewer Milwaukee County residents in the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan in January 2012 than two years earlier.
The unemployment rate in Milwaukee County was estimated at 7.8% in December 2011. The rate has improved every month since last summer. Since June 2011, however, the employed workforce has dropped by 2,628 while the number of unemployed job seekers (including summer workers) is down by 10,225, for an estimated decrease in the labor force of 12,853. The numbers re-enforce the need for a strong youth employment initiative in summer 2012.
January 2012 -- ACS estimated that there are 25,444 veterans aged 18-64 in the current workforce in Milwaukee County. As a group they bring strong soft skills along with technical training and OJT experience, and most (60%) have had postsecondary education. A serious concern is their high unemployment rate since the recession. In 2010 vets showed 10.8% unemployment in the county, non-vets 12.3%.
December 2011 -- An estimated 70,500 city of Milwaukee residents (or 28% of the total employed labor force) worked for educational institutions, health establishments, and social service agencies, according to the ACS(2010). Federal, state and local governmental support for these industries is key to the economic health of the city's workforce.
November 2011 -- According to CES data for the four-county Milwaukee area, monthly employment by temp agencies has risen to pre-recessionary levels while job totals in manufacturing are more than 20,000 below the levels seen in 2008.
October 2011 -- In September 2011, 129,400 children and 75,200 adults in Milwaukee County were enrolled in the federal/state BadgerCare Plus program. Enrollments of children are up by 4% over last year, while enrollments of non-parent adults in the Core Plan are down by almost 40%. Statewide, over half (55%) of adults on BadgerCare Plus are employed but do not have private health insurance coverage. The largest numbers of uninsured participants had family members reported employed at Wal-Mart, MacDonald's, Aurora, Menard's, Manpower, and Roundy's.
September 2011 -- 2010 state income tax returns (filed in 2011) revealed wide disparities in income within Milwaukee County. Working age married and single tax filers averaged $153,410 in adjusted gross income per filing unit in the north shore ZIP code 53217, compared to $20,230 in ZIP code 53206 in Milwaukee's inner city. Comparison of 2007 and 2010 returns suggests that 95% of inner city single parents have remained in the workforce during the recession.
August 2011 -- 2010 Census shows minority populations reaching 50% among youth in the Milwaukee metro area. Extreme racial isolation of African American youth is continuing with 92% living within the city of Milwaukee, while 60% of white youth live outside Milwaukee County.
July 2011 -- U.S. reports 4.7 jobseekers per job opening in May 2011. The last Milwaukee area job openings survey (in May 2009) found 13 jobseekers per full-time opening.
June 2011 -- One in 4 workers in Milwaukee County is employed in educational services, health care and social services establishments. In the metro area the largest number of workers employed in service occupations and production live in the city of Milwaukee. The WOW (Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties) workers dominate the management and professional occupations.
May 2011 -- New plant closings and mass layoff notices spiked in Milwaukee County in April. Unemployment insurance rolls continue to drop in the county as workers exhaust their benefits and some return to work. Over half of new UI claimants are minorities.
April 2011 -- For the metro area, employment in health industries increased during the recession while manufacturing and construction work showed large drops.
March 2011 -- Enrollments in FoodShare are at their highest level in the past 25 years in Milwaukee County. One in five Milwaukee County residents (N=202,000) is enrolled in the BadgerCare Plus program.
February 2011 -- MAWIB dislocated worker clients live throughout the county, most are not receiving unemployment insurance payments, and nearly 2/3 have driver's license issues.
January 2011 -- 12,893 Milwaukee County families received Wisconsin Shares child care subsidies in December 2010, down by 1,100 over December 2009. For the same time period the number of families receiving W-2 income payments rose by 3,500.
December 2010 -- A statewide analysis by ETI found that 58% of the children receiving BadgerCare Plus are from "working poor" families where their parent or another adult is employed but the family is not covered by private health insurance.
November 2010 -- 66,000 families in Milwaukee County qualified for and received earned income tax credits (EIC) for the 2009 tax year with payments ($254 million) up 27% over 2008. 65% of employed single parent tax filers in the county receiving income boosts under the federal and state EIC.
October 2010 -- Single parents from Milwaukee inner city neighborhoods continued working during the recession. State income tax returns showed only a 1% drop in earners in 2009 compared to 2007.
September 2010 -- The Milwaukee metro area added 22,000 more private sector jobs from March to August 2010. 31% of the jobs were in construction, 24% in food service and drinking places, 14% in manufacturing, and 14% with temp agencies.
August 2010 -- 10,945 job gains from March to June were insufficient to absorb 8,100 workers entering the labor force in June, including students and other seeking summer jobs. The county's unemployment rate rose to 9.6% in June 2010 but still down from the 10.3% high seen in June 2009.
July 2010 -- Among the greatest challenges facing the Milwaukee metro area is the aging of the workforce with retirement of experienced, skilled workers and need to engage younger workers into the labor force. According to the American Community Survey, 40% of adults in metro Milwaukee are aged 50 and older (i.e., approaching or already in retirement), up from 32% in 1990.
June 2010 -- The driver's license recovery program shows high success rates for low-income African American males, court referrals, and clients allowed to use community service to pay off outstanding municipal fines.
May 2010 -- As the recession worsened, jobs in retail trade dropped to their lowest level in the last three years in the Milwaukee metro area.
April 2010 -- Unemployment in the city of Milwaukee (estimated at 12.3% in March 2010) was at its highest level in the last 20 years. One in 5 Milwaukee County residents is now using a government safety net (FoodShares, BadgerCare Plus, or both).
March 2010 -- The number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment insurance payments is showing declines, likely due to expired benefits. 58% of UI recipients in Milwaukee County are on permanent layoff.
February 2010 -- 54,000 laid-off workers in Milwaukee County were receiving weekly unemployment insurance in February 2010. Most laid-off workers are of prime working age, with only 8% aged 60 and above.
January 2010 -- Private companies in the four-county area employed 24,200 fewer workers in goods production and 30,300 fewer in services sectors in December 2009 than 2 years earlier.