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WMC launches ads hitting Evers on workforce shortage

MADISON — Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is hitting back on Gov. Tony Evers’ refusal to end a federal unemployment bonus payment that Wisconsin businesses say is only making the state’s severe worker shortage worse.

WMC Issues Mobilization Council Inc., an arm of Wisconsin’s largest business advocate, has launched a statewide digital campaign.The targeted 30-second ad is running throughout Wisconsin highlighting Gov. Evers’ inaction on the issue, according to a WMC press release.

As it stands, unemployed Wisconsinites are entitled to up to $370 per week in state unemployment benefits and a bonus of $300 weekly through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

As Wisconsin Spotlight reports, many claimants are taking in $670 a week in jobless relief — or about $17 an hour. In short, some unemployed Wisconsinites are making more staying home than they are at work. There’s little incentive to get back into the labor force.

Evers has signaled that he would veto Republican legislation ending the bonus payments, as at least 25 other states have done.

“It’s an issue I have seen no data on — none whatsoever,” Evers said in response to a reporter’s question about eliminating the additional unemployment payments.

WMC and other business advocates say Evers once more is tone deaf on a critical economic issue.

“Gov. Evers’ lack of leadership on addressing our workforce shortage crisis is irresponsible and will cause irreparable damage to Wisconsin’s economy,” said WMC Executive Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley. “The governor should act immediately to end these expanded unemployment benefits before it is too late. Without any action, businesses may soon be forced to close permanently due to a lack of available workers.”

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