Nick Novak Explains to WISN12 How Expanded Unemployment Benefits are Contributing to the Workforce Shortage

MILWAUKEE – Gov. Tony Evers defended the additional $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits being allocated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

His position comes despite business groups calling on him to immediately stop the payments. Critics argue the additional money is a major factor in the state’s workforce shortage.

“First of all, I’d like to see proof that the people struggling on unemployment, that if they all came back to work suddenly this problem is solved,” Evers said outside the state Capitol. “It’s an issue I’ve seen no data on, none whatsoever.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, along with dozens of chambers of commerce statewide, have asked the governor to stop the additional payments.

“Our state is literally paying people to sit on the sidelines,” Nick Novak said, vice president of communications and marketing for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. “While we had a workforce shortage prior to the pandemic, it has become a crisis level workforce shortage because of these expanded benefits.”

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