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Walker Pins Manufacturing Job Losses On Workforce Needs

State Lost Nearly 4,000 Manufacturing Jobs Last Year

Scott Walker
Darren Hauck/AP Photo

Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday a decline in manufacturing jobs across the state is because Wisconsin doesn’t have enough skilled workers to fill the positions.

Numbers released last week by the state Department of Workforce Development show Wisconsin lost 3,776 manufacturing jobs in 2016. That’s despite spending nearly $300 million a year on tax cuts for manufacturers.

Speaking at a roadside press conference in Beloit, the governor pinned the decline on workforce needs.

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“Manufacturers here and all across the state will tell you they don’t have enough people to fill the jobs they have open today, and until they can fill those positions with confidence, they can’t add more for the future,” Walker said.

Democratic lawmakers have pushed for scaling back the manufacturing tax credits.

The job numbers were from the state’s submission to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. A comparison with other states’ performance will be available in June.