Nick Novak Joins Milwaukee’s FOX6 to Talk Impact of Unemployment Benefits on Workforce

MILWAUKEE – Wisconsin Republicans want to end the $300-per-week federal unemployment supplement, which they said Tuesday hurts businesses that are struggling to fill vacancies as customers return amid a loosening of coronavirus restrictions.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) unveiled a bill to get rid of the unemployment add-on. Wisconsin Democrats said it would be reckless and could slow down the recovery.

The Wisconsin Job Center shows Wisconsin employers are looking to fill 107,000 jobs with 90,000 people looking for work.

“Lots of essential businesses are scrambling to find employees, because we all did well in the midst of last year. We’re essential, so we continued operations, and now there’s the pent-up demand that had been stored,” Alan Petelinsek, Power Test Inc. owner, said. “Things are crazy, and we’re all trying to move, and there’s many hindrances to it, including people staying home, rather than coming to work.”

The Sussex company, which makes machines that test huge engines and vehicle power, has 13 openings. Starting pay is about $15.50 per hour, with skilled trades starting at $25 per hour.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s chamber, urges Gov. Tony Evers to get rid of the extra $300 week.

“There are so many Wisconsinites who want to work, who love going into a shop floor every day, or whatever their job might be. But when you put nearly $17 an hour on the table, as an incentive to stay home and not work, that makes it really challenging for some of those people who maybe want to enjoy the summer,” said Nick Novak, WMC vice president of communications and marketing.

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