Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mid-Tech Jobs coming to Foxconn and Wisconsin?

The idea that Scott Walker leads all Democratic gubernatorial challengers is stunning. You would think voters would only give a third term to a highly successful governor, that such a privilege would be reserved for best of the best, right? Yet Walker's record, based on a national growing economy and nothing he's personally done, is just not a factor.

Example, Walker's "eggs-in-one-basket" Foxconn deal rolled out without a single wonkish lecture detailing just how it will help workers in the state. Not once did he mention the all-important "mid-tech" worker, a non-college educated laborer in plentiful supply in the southeastern portion of the state. It's the one biggest issue, besides the state's brain drain and worker transportation problems.

And don't forget the GOP's "free market" driven Great Recession, when many manufacturers changed their business model; maintaining a smaller full-time workforce using temp labor to fill-in during periods of high demand. (Wait a minute, a temporary workforce? Is it any surprise Wisconsin workers didn't buy into the idea, opting instead to seek full-time steady employment.)

These are just a few of the examples adding to the now short supply of labor in Wisconsin:
JS: “Everyone is feeling the talent crunch,” said Amber Laurent, Manpower’s regional director. “You can’t go anywhere without it being a main part of conversations.”
It's the Wages Stupid: I know it's crazy, but people want more money for their time and work and not just the pride that comes with having a job:
So why isn’t pay higher? Increases nationwide in total compensation which includes pay and benefits in the private sector have hardly been robust. In percentage terms, also lag behind the gains of the early 2000s.

John Heywood, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said some economists believe things have fundamentally changed and that we won’t return to the compensation gains of the past. One reason for that view: Labor force participation is unusually low and so, Heywood said, there may be more slack in the labor market than the unemployment rate suggests.
Back in March...
WPR: The numbers come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages: From September 2016 until September 2017, Wisconsin added 17,670 private sector jobs. That's considerably less than in previous years. For example, Wisconsin added 27,289 private sector jobs during the same period a year ago and 34,551 the year before that. Wisconsin's 0.7 percent private sector job growth rate ranked 31st in the nation. Wisconsin ranked 32nd when these numbers were released in 2017.

The latest numbers also show Wisconsin added 4,616 private sector manufacturing jobs from September 2016 through September 2017. That's an improvement from the same period a year ago when Wisconsin lost manufacturing jobs.
Mid-tech Workers Rising: On Upfront with Mike Gousha, Foxconn Executive Louis Woo made the claim that 30 percent of its labor force will be your typical factory worker...middle tech? Coincidentally (?), this Brookings report below also used that 30 percent number:
Monster, Forbes, and Business.com have touted the “7 Tech Jobs You Can Get Without a Degree” or the “10 High-Paying Tech Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree.” Such discussion of “new collar” jobs has been giving credence to the idea that tech might be a more accessible source of upward mobility for “blue-collar” workers and places, as well as underrepresented populations, than many have previously thought ... it’s clear that a surprisingly large share of classic tech jobs are actually quite accessible to workers without a bachelor’s degree. 
As the table shows, nearly one-third (30 percent) of the workers in three of the 13 C&M occupations (computer network architects, network support specialists, and computer systems analysts) do not hold a bachelor’s degree.
The mid-tech share of C&M employment remains below 20 percent in such hard-core hubs as San Francisco (19.1 percent), Seattle(16.9 percent), and Boston (14.1 percent). By contrast, the mid-tech share of regional C&M employment ranges much higher in a less glamorous list of more workaday locations: Olympia, Wash. (where mid-tech employment pushes 60 percent of C&M employment); Jackson, Mich. (38.7 percent); and Lakeland, Fla. (36.7 percent).

Mid-tech jobs compose more than one-quarter of all tech employment in numerous major Midwestern metros. Such places include Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati;St. Louis; Detroit; Nashville; and Minneapolis-St. Paul. This suggests not just that tech is different (more accessible, and more about implementation than creative leaps) in the Midwest, but also confirms that significant talent resides there, and works at a significant discount, given the low cost of living in the region.
Foxconn Reveal: Also on Upfront, Foxconn's Woo never explained why they suddenly decide to invest in a water system that reduces the amount of water taken from Lake Michigan only after it was highly criticized and legal challenges arose. Woo said, "this is the right thing to do, nothing to do with anything else..!" Rrrrright.

And why all the taxpayer money for Foxconn? Woo put it this way; "Co-investing together with someone that who's taking tremendous risk...that's trying to transform a traditional economy..." So Woo put Wisconsin taxpayers on the hook because Foxconn was taking a risk? Beautiful.
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