Availability of job quality misunderstood
When I talk about the job market in Sheboygan County, I often hear comments like “Sure, there are plenty of jobs here - as long as you want to work part-time or for less than $10 per hour” or “You can’t support a family on the jobs here.”
Does that sound familiar? It is one of the biggest misconceptions about Sheboygan County and it is standing in the way of more people landing good-paying jobs.
The truth is that living-wage jobs are abundant. On someplacebetter.org, which is part of a countywide effort to attract people to work and live in Sheboygan County, you’ll find more than 2,800 positions posted. Dig around and discover that fewer than five percent of the jobs posted are for seasonal or temporary work and two-thirds of the jobs are full time. One-third of all job postings in Sheboygan County require at least a four-year degree.
Using another popular job board you can quickly see that it posts roughly 66,000 jobs in Wisconsin. Sheboygan County only accounts for 1.9 percent of the state’s population, but Sheboygan County has 3.6 percent of the jobs postings on that site.
Sheboygan County is not only unique in Wisconsin for having so many positions available, we’re also unique when you look at the pay scale. In another fast-growing part of the state, entry-level manufacturing jobs requiring a high school diploma are paying $11 to $12 per hour. Here in Sheboygan County those jobs often start at $14 per hour and go up from there.
Entry-level wages have risen significantly in the past year in reaction to our low unemployment rate. Over the last decade Sheboygan County wages grew by 12.2 percent, compared with 9 percent in Wisconsin and 10.4 percent nationally.
Our incredible job growth has been driven by our local economy. The county’s gross domestic product has grown by 3.4 percent - in contrast to Wisconsin at one percent and 1.7 percent for the nation. This economic growth has also sparked real wage growth in Sheboygan County.