University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute

Brief Summary

Survey of Job Openings in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: Week of May 20, 1996

The week of May 20, 1996, an estimated 29,257 full and part-time jobs were open for immediate hire in the four-county Milwaukee metropolitan area. These job openings are the result of company expansions, labor shortages in difficult to fill positions, and seasonal fluctuations, as well as normal turnover among the 758,318 employed workers in the metro area due to retirements, resignations and firings. Estimates of job openings are based on semi-annual surveys of area employers conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute and Social Science Research Facility, as part of a collaborative Labor Market Study Project with local governments and schools.

  • In May 1996 employers were seeking an estimated 18,687 full-time workers and 10,570 part-time employees. Employers reported 585 fewer full-time job openings and 2,687 fewer part-time openings than in October 1995. The heavy demand for manufacturing and retail and wholesale trade workers has slowed somewhat, while full-time job openings for workers in service industries have increased.
  • Graph 1: Full-Time and Part-Time Job Openings

  • The majority (60 percent) of full-time openings required education, training or occupation-specific experience beyond high school.
  • Employers reported about half (51 percent) of their job openings as difficult to fill in May 1996, compared with 65 percent of job openings listed in October 1995. Only a third of the jobs with no education or experience were listed as difficult to fill. The highest number of difficult to fill jobs were for workers with technical training or occupation-specific experience. The survey showed an estimated 8,699 jobs for experienced or technically trained workers, with 5,357 (62 percent) of these jobs identified as difficult to fill.
  • Graph 2: Number of Difficult-to-Fill Jobs

  • Job demand continues to remain high in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, where 70 percent of full-time jobs and 60 percent of part-time jobs were identified as difficult to fill. Most of these jobs are not accessible by public transportation.
  • Over half (53 percent) of all full-time job openings and 58 percent of part-time openings were generated by companies with less than 50 workers.
  • Proposed changes in the minimum wage will impact primarily the food service sector. Jobs paying less than $5.00 an hour made up only 5 percent of full-time openings but 22 percent of part-time openings. Seventy percent of part-time jobs paying $4.25 were in food service and preparation jobs.
  • Only 11 percent of full-time job openings with no education or experience requirement and 15 percent of jobs requiring high school completion but no experience offered health insurance and wages sufficient to support a family of four above poverty ($15,150 a year).
  • Graph 3: Percent of Job  Openings Paying Family
Wages and Health Insurance

  • Labor shortages were evident in the outlying counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington where approximately 7,800 adults were listed as unemployed compared to 7,739 full-time and 3,378 part-time job openings. At the same time, the number of jobs available in Milwaukee County, and particularly in the central city targeted Enterprise Community, were far fewer than those needed. In Milwaukee County approximately 37,000 adults are listed as unemployed or expected to work with full-time job openings estimated at 10,516 and part-time openings at 6,958.

Graph 4: Job Openings vs. Unemployed  

Graph 5: Work Sites for Full-Time Job 

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Employment and Training Institute
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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