University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute

Brief Summary

Survey of Job Openings in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: Week of October 15, 2001

The week of October 15, 2001, an estimated 21,745 full and part-time jobs were open for immediate hire in the four-county Milwaukee metropolitan area. These openings are the result of company expansions, labor shortages in difficult to fill positions, seasonal fluctuations, and normal turnover among the 819,019 employed workers in the area. The job vacancy survey was conducted for the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute.

Total Openings

  • In October employers were seeking workers for an estimated 12,218 full-time and 9,527 part- time openings. The largest numbers of full-time openings were concentrated in service industries (42 percent of total openings); finance, insurance and real estate (18%); and retail and wholesale trade (17 percent). Part-time openings were concentrated almost entirely in the service sector (48 percent) and retail trade (37 percent).

  • Openings were the lowest ever for the month of October since the job openings survey began in 1993. Only 1 out of 10 employers reported openings, compared to almost 1 out of 4 in October 1998. Declines were sharpest in the outlying areas where employers reported 7,385 job openings in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington (WOW) counties, down by half from 15,688 in October 1998. In Milwaukee County job openings totaled 13,824, compared to 19,487 in October 1998.

  • Declines in full-time openings were greatest in manufacturing which dropped 69 percent and retail trade which posted a 59 percent decline since October 1998. Part-time openings saw the largest drop in retail which showed a 42 percent decline.

  • Job demand remained strong, however, in the health care and construction sectors where full-time openings made up over 25 percent of full-time and part-time openings.

Graph: Total  Openings:
1993-2001
Graph: Job Openings by Type of Industry
Graph: Location of Full-Time
Openings
Graph: Location of Part-Time
Openings

Wage Rates

  • In October 2001, less than 1 percent of openings paid minimum wage ($5.15 an hour) or below. The average wage for entry-level jobs with no experience or training requirements was $8.08 for full-time openings and $7.37 for part-time work in October 2001.

  • In October 2001, 87 percent of full-time openings could support two persons above the poverty level, and 79 percent offered wages sufficient to support three persons above poverty and offered health insurance. However, only 59 percent of full-time job openings with no education or experience requirements offered health insurance and family-supporting wages for three-person families.

  • The majority (84 percent) of full-time job openings offered health insurance benefits. By contrast, only 29 percent of part-time openings had health insurance coverage.

Labor Market Supply and Demand

  • In Milwaukee County the total number of jobs available (7,646 full-time and 6,178 part- time openings) fell short of the number of officially counted unemployed job seekers (26,371 workers). Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties with lower unemployment levels (3.0 to 3.2 percent) showed 10,735 unemployed adults compared to 4,346 full-time and 3,039 part- time job openings.

  • In the central city neighborhoods, job openings (1,666 full-time and 1,049 part-time) fell far short of the estimated 13,132 unemployed persons considered actively seeking work in October 2001 and 4,737 cases receiving "W-2" welfare payments.

Graph: Estimated Job Seekers to Job Openings by
Geographical Area

Education and Training Requirements

  • The high demand for trained workers continues. Seventy-seven percent of full-time openings required education, training or occupation-specific experience beyond high school. The survey showed an estimated 8,004 full-time jobs for experienced or technically trained workers, with 50 percent of these jobs identified as difficult to fill. Employers reported that 43 percent of the 1,901 jobs for persons with four-year college degrees (or more) were difficult to fill.

Graph: Requirements for Full-Time Job Openings

  • One-fourth of all job vacancies were concentrated in the health care area where an estimated 2,974 full-time and 2,609 part-time jobs were open, including 1,689 openings for nurses, 660 for nursing and patient care assistants, 359 for licensed practical nurses, 207 for pharmacists, 217 health aides, 180 radiologic technicians, and 573 other health technicians (including pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, medical technologists, and surgical technicians).

  • Fifteen percent of full-time openings and 39 percent of part-time openings were entry level jobs with no education or experience requirements. Another 7 percent of full-time openings and 8 percent of part-time openings required high school completion but no experience or training. However, most full-time entry-level jobs were concentrated in the WOW counties (49 percent) and the Milwaukee County suburbs (21 percent of jobs). Entry-level jobs in the City of Milwaukee were concentrated in eating and drinking establishments (31 percent of openings) and grocery stores (16 percent of openings).

  • An estimated 715 full-time and 487 part-time jobs required possession of a valid driver's or chauffeur's license. These included openings for 290 truck drivers (delivery, concrete, long- haul), 367 driver-sales workers, and 140 construction site workers, as well as openings for van drivers, parking lot attendants, and other transportation workers.

  • The tables below identify jobs in highest demand by level of education or training required. Frequently listed full- time job openings were reported in health fields, sales work, financial services, food preparation and service, and office work. Part-time jobs in high demand were reported in health fields, sales work, and food preparation and service.


FULL-TIME POSITIONS WITH 100 OR MORE OPENINGS
(Jobs in bold showed at least 100 openings identified by employers as difficult to fill)
Four-Year College Degree or More

  • financial services sales occupations
  • registered nurses
  • electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers
Certification, License, AA Degree, or Experience Required

  • registered nurse
  • financial services sales occupations
  • licensed practical nurses
  • helpers, mechanics, repairers
  • nursing and personal care assistants, aides, attendants
  • health technologists and technicians
  • supervisors and proprietors, salaried sales occupations
  • sales representatives and other business service sales positions
  • general office and record clerks
  • early childhood teacher's assistants
  • motor transportation occupations, vans and autos
  • truck drivers
  • retail sales workers
High School Completion, No Experience Required

  • financial services sales occupations
  • cashiers and food counter workers
No Experience or Education Required

  • financial service sales occupations
  • food preparation workers
  • retail sales workers
  • waiters and waitresses
  • insurance sales occupations
  • cashiers and food counter workers

PART-TIME POSITIONS WITH 100 OR MORE OPENINGS
(Jobs in bold showed at least 100 openings identified by employers as difficult to fill)
Four-Year College Degree or More

  • registered nurses
Certification, License, AA Degree, or Experience Required

  • registered nurses
  • nursing and personal care assistants, aides and attendants
  • licensed practical nurses
  • early childhood teacher's assistants
  • sales occupations, business services
  • financial sales occupations
  • health technologists and technicians
  • retail sales workers
  • waiters and waitresses
  • driver-sales workers
  • food preparation workers
  • interviewers and receptionists
High School Completion, No Experience Required

  • retail sales workers
  • sales representatives, manufacturing and wholesale trade
No Experience or Education Required

  • retail sales workers
  • early childhood teacher's assistants
  • waiters and waitresses
  • food preparation workers
  • janitors and cleaners
  • information clerks
  • cashiers and food counter workers
  • cooks
  • nursing and personal care assistants, aides and attendants
  • interviewers and receptionists


Background on the Milwaukee Labor Market Project

This report was prepared by John Pawasarat, Director of the UWM Employment and Training Institute, with assistance from Lois M. Quinn, Senior Research Scientist, and student research assistants Erin Eklund, Cordella Jones, Vincent Pederson, Christina Navarro, Sarah Stoecker, Katie McCoy and Elizabeth Chudnow. Milwaukee is the first major city in the country to regularly study job openings in order to assess the number and type of jobs available, pay rates, job locations and the level of skill training employers need to fill full-time and part-time openings. In 1998 the U.S. Congress adopted the Milwaukee Labor Market Project's job openings survey design as a national model. Summaries of job openings reports for prior years (1993-2000) are available. The 80-page manual on how to conduct job vacancies studies is online.

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