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Survey of Job Openings in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: Week of May 23, 1994

Employment and Training Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1994

The week of May 23, 1994, an estimated 30,635 full-time 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, seasonal fluctuations, as well as normal turnover among the 737,910 employed workers in the metro area due to retirements, resignations and firings. The job openings estimates are based on semi-annual surveys of Milwaukee 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.

  • In May 1994 employers were seeking an estimated 16,790 full-time workers and 13,845 part-time employees. The number of full-time job openings was 4,920 higher than in May 1993, with increased numbers of openings noted in retail and wholesale trade, services and manufacturing. Increases of 4,568 in the number of part-time job openings since May 1993 were largely due to 3,840 additional openings in the retail and wholesale trade sectors.
  • There is a spatial mis-match of job openings and unemployed workers in the Milwaukee area. Unemployed workers (11,500) in the Community Development Block Grant neighborhoods of the City of Milwaukee outnumbered available full-time jobs (1,376) by a ratio of eight workers for every one job opening. The remainder of the Milwaukee metropolitan area was much closer to labor force needs with 20,877 unemployed job seekers and 14,962 full-time job openings.
  • Employers in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties reported more difficulties filling job openings than employers located in Milwaukee County. In these counties 75 percent of entry-level full-time jobs requiring no previous experience were identified as difficult to fill and 75 percent of jobs requiring only a high school diploma were difficult to fill. The problem was most severe in the manufacturing and retail sectors where an estimated 1,110 entry-level manufacturing and 586 retail jobs were listed as difficult to fill in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties. By contrast, Milwaukee County employers had less difficulty filling entry level positions requiring no previous education or experience, with 33 percent of full-time jobs cited as difficult to fill. One-fourth (27 percent) of full-time jobs requiring a high school diploma were considered difficult to fill by Milwaukee County employers.
  • Many of the jobs available in the metropolitan area were low-paying. Thirty percent of full-time job openings and 80 percent of part-time openings paid less than $6.00 per hour. Positions offering $12.00 or more per hour made up only 14 percent of full-time job openings and less than 3 percent of part-time openings.
  • Entry-level jobs requiring no experience were the least likely to offer family- supporting wages and health insurance. Only 7 percent of entry level full-time jobs with no education or experience requirements offered health insurance and wages to support a family of four above the poverty level, compared to 22 percent of openings requiring high school completion but no occupation-specific experience, 46 percent of jobs requiring certification, licensing or prior experience, and 73 percent of jobs requiring a college BA, BS or associate degree.
  • The 16,790 full-time job openings available the week of May 23, 1994, represented about one-third of the jobs required for the 54,400 to 56,500 persons seeking or expected to work, including unemployed workers and AFDC and food stamp recipients considered able to work. If part-time and full-time job openings are combined, the 30,635 job openings represented 56 percent of jobs needed for the Milwaukee metro population expected to work.

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