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Worker shortage: Manufacturing lobbyists want governor to end extra unemployment benefits

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A prominent Wisconsin lobbying organization that advocates on the behalf of manufacturers wants the state to suspend programs that give out extra money to people unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Check out all of our unemployment coverage here.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce said in a press release Tuesday that it sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers.

"Small, medium and large businesses from every corner of the state are desperate to find workers," the letter said. "Stimulus checks and other government aid are only exacerbating the workforce shortage."

The inability of businesses to find workers has reached "crisis levels" according to the WMC.

The letter argues that unemployment benefits amount to $16.75 per hour, making it much more difficult for businesses to hire.

The WMC has also argued against raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin which is currently $7.25, saying that adjustment would kill jobs. The letter makes no reference to businesses attempting to raise pay rates to encourage more applicants.

The programs that the letter is asking the governor to end are federal benefits administered as part of coronavirus relief legislation. The additional funds are distributed by the states which administer unemployment programs.

The full letter to the governor is below. App users can read it here.


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JT Cestkowski

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