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Local Employers Report High Levels of Concern Over Upcoming Retirements

Posted by adminALT on May 17th, 2016

Understanding the local labor market is a vital component in formulating a strategy for addressing local skills gaps. In May of 2015, local employers were emailed requesting their participation in the 2015 Skills Gap Local Labor Market Survey.

The next decade will see a shift in Chippewa Valley’s labor force as the massive baby boomer demographic retires. This is a well cited statistic that is being heard nationally – but recent data directly represents what is on the horizon for our local businesses.

Over 60% of the businesses who responded are concerned with upcoming retirements, and unsurprisingly most of these positions require at least two years’ worth of experience. In fact, 57% of the positions that will be opening up will require between 2-5 years of experience – with only 29% of these positions requiring no experience.


As explained by Scott Hodek, Regional Economist for the Office of Economic Advisors in the Department of Workforce Development,

“The next decade will see an unprecedented tightening of the local labor force as the baby boomer generation retires – at a time where employers are already having trouble finding skilled workers in high demand occupations.”

Additional stress can be felt from businesses that are already having difficulty filling positions – a reality that is facing over 70% of those who responded to the survey. In direct contrast to positions opening up due to retirements, employers indicated that 48% of the openings require no experience; and only 28% of the hard-to-fill positions require 2-5 years’ worth of experience.


Completed results from the 2015 survey can be viewed and downloaded here.

Questions on the data can be sent to Scott Hodek via email at