University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute

Brief Summary

Survey of Job Openings in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: Week of October 23, 1995

The week of October 23, 1995, an estimated 32,529 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 754,270 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 October 1995 employers were seeking an estimated 19,272 full-time workers and 13,257 part-time employees. Employers reported 322 fewer full-time job openings than in October 1994, but 7,573 more than in October 1993. The heavy demand for manufacturing workers has slowed somewhat, with 4,076 openings, compared with a high of 5,937 full-time manufacturing openings in October 1994.
  • The highest number of difficult to fill jobs were for workers with technical training or occupation-specific experience. The majority (64 percent) of full-time openings required education, training or occupation-specific experience beyond high school. The survey showed an estimated 10,193 jobs for experienced or technically trained workers, with 7,513 (74 percent) of these jobs identified as difficult to fill. This is the highest demand reported for technically trained workers since the job openings surveys were initiated in May 1993.
  • Graph 1: Difficult-to-Fill Jobs

  • Job demand continues to remain high in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, where over two-thirds of full and part-time jobs were identified as difficult to fill. Most of these jobs are not accessible by public transportation.
  • For unemployed workers, job search is more difficult because many job openings are in small companies which may be more difficult to identify and contact. Half of all full-time job openings were generated by companies with less than 50 workers and one-fourth were for companies with fewer than 10 workers.
  • The tight Milwaukee labor market has moved wages up from the lowest categories. Jobs paying less than $5.00 an hour make up only 10 percent of full-time openings for persons with no education or experience and 1 percent of openings for high school graduates lacking occupation-specific experience or training.
  • Only 13 percent of full-time job openings with no education or experience requirement and 14 percent of jobs requiring high school completion but no experience offered health insurance and wages sufficient to support a family of four above the poverty level ($15,150 a year).
  • There are more part-time than full-time openings for new labor force entrants who have not completed high school and who lack experience. Employers reported about 3,737 entry-level full-time openings for non-graduates and 5,910 part-time openings.
  • Labor shortages are evident in the outlying counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington where approximately 8,000 adults are listed as unemployed or expected to work compared to 8,084 full-time and 4,798 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, are far fewer than those needed. In Milwaukee County approximately 40,000 adults are listed as unemployed or expected to work with full-time job openings estimated at 10,887 and part-time openings at 8,087.

    Graph 2: Estimated Job  Seekers to Job Openings
by Geographic Area

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