Examining The Skills Gap in Wisconsin
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Examining The Skills Gap in Wisconsin. Prepared for the Wisconsin Legislative Council Jennifer Cunha Megan Loritz Ben Nerad Phil Sletten. Presentation Overview. ● W hat is the Skills Gap? ● L iterature Review ● I ndicator Analysis ● P rojection Analysis

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Examining The Skills Gap in Wisconsin

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Examining The Skills Gap in Wisconsin

Prepared for the Wisconsin Legislative Council

Jennifer Cunha

Megan Loritz

Ben Nerad

Phil Sletten


Presentation Overview

  • ●What is the Skills Gap?

  • ●Literature Review

  • ●Indicator Analysis

  • ●Projection Analysis

  • ●Current Policies

  • ●Policy Recommendations


  • What is the Skills Gap?

    • ●As unemployment remains high, some employers say it is difficult to find workers with sufficient skills for available positions

  • ●Suggests that the supply of skilled workers in the state does not sufficiently meet the demand


  • Literature Review

    • ●Companies Face Shortage of Trained Workers

      • (Sullivan 2012; Competitive Wisconsin 2012 /Be Bold 2 report)

    • ●Wage Levels Offered by Employers Too Low

      • Skills mismatch may be corrected if companies offered higher wages

      • (Davidson 2012; Holzer 2013*)

    • ●Macroeconomic Impacts of Recent Recession

      • Weak aggregate demand for products/services insufficient to strain a companies’ workforce, employers have little incentive to hire

      • (Levine 2013; Şahin, Song, Topa, Violante 2012; Lazear,Spletzer 2012)

        • *Holzer explains, but does not necessarily support, this interpretation.


    Wisconsin’s Economy: Economic Indicators

    • ●Used by economists to analyze the economic performance and make predictions

    • ●Indicators may suggest magnitude of a skills gap using economic theory

  • ●We explored the following economic indicators:

    • Unemployment rates by level of education

    • Educational attainment of persons in low-skill jobs

    • Occupations with the most projected job openings


  • Wisconsin’s Economy: Economic Indicators

    • ●Unemployment rate for college-educated, “skilled” workers persists at nearly twice its pre-recession rate

  • Unemployment Rates in Wisconsin by Education Level 2000, 2005, & 2011


  • Wisconsin’s Economy: Economic Indicators

    • ●Many Wisconsin college-educated workers are employed in jobs that require less education than they possess

  • Educational Attainment of Persons in Wisconsin in Jobs Requiring Less than a High School Diploma, 2010


  • Wisconsin’s Economy: Economic Indicators

    • ●Underemployment and over-qualification are relatively new phenomena in Wisconsin’s labor market

  • Percent of Jobholders in Low-Skill Occupations Holding Bachelor’s Degrees or More in Wisconsin, 2000- 2010


  • Economic Indicators: Results

    • ●Economic indicators do not suggest a skills gap in Wisconsin’s labor force

    • ●Educated individuals may continue to lack job opportunities at skill level

      • Almost all of the top 20 occupations with the largest projected job growth require a high school degree or less (DWD Projections)


    Projection Methods

    • ●Demand: DWD Projections

    • ●Supply: Graduates from Wisconsin Institutions

      • High schools, colleges and universities, GED earners

      • Adjusted for estimated migration, workforce participation

      • Adjustments for potential anomalies caused by recessions

    • ●Projections Methods

      • Upper and lower bounds, accounts for some uncertainty

      • Regression models, percent changes based on previous years (2000 to 2011)

      • Official projections where available (high school)


    Projection Analysis


    Implications of Projection Analysis

    • ●Little evidence of skills gap by education level

    • ●Slight undersupply of highest educated

      • Likely medical doctors and lawyers

    • ●More high-skill workers than jobs available

      • Many job openings at the high school or less level

      • Workers with some college or more may not find jobs to match education level

      • Only in aggregate, not for specific skills


    Individual Occupation Analysis

    • ●Skills gaps exist for specific occupations

      • Analysis based on high levels of demand, degree specificity

      • Included occupations:

        • Registered Nurses

        • General and Operations Managers

        • Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

        • Elementary School Teachers

        • Middle and High School Teachers

        • Accountants and Auditors

        • Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

        • Human Resources, Labor Relations, and Training Specialists

        • Computer and Information Systems Workers


    Individual Occupation Analysis Results

    • Middle and High School Teacher Projection Analysis, 2012-2020


    Individual Occupation Analysis Results

    Human Resources, Labor Relations, and Training Projection Analysis, 2012-2020


    Individual Occupation Analysis Results

    Computer Science and Information Systems Projection Analysis, 2012-2020


    Current Workforce Development Policies

    • ●Workforce Training

      • Wisconsin Works (W-2) program

      • Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

  • ●Education Programs

    • Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs

    • Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS)

    • University of Wisconsin System

  • ●Recent Proposals

    • More WTCS and FoodShare recipient funding

    • Grants for new employee training

    • DWD Labor Market Information System


  • Policy Recommendations

    • ●Monitor Projections of the Skills Gap

      • Include supply/demand projections in DWD’s Labor Market Information System

    • ●Promote a High-Skill Economy

      • Commission to explore how state could promote a high-skill economy

      • Incentivize venture capital and start-ups

      • Encourage students to get degrees in areas with projected skills gaps

      • Targeted programming for skills in computer sciences

    • ●Ease Transitions to Workforce

      • College Scorecard and Labor Market Information System

      • Expanded funding for experiential learning programs in high school

      • Make it easier for adults to go back to school


    Thank You for Your Time

    Any Questions?


    For further information

    Contact the La Follette School’s publications office at 608-263-7657 or [email protected]

    Or see www.lafollette.wisc.edu/publications/workshops.html

    Thank you


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