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Better Wages, Stronger Benefits Key To Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery, UW-Madison Study Finds

Economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on providing workers better wages, consistent schedules and stronger benefits, including accessible health care. That’s according to a new report from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The report from COWS, formerly the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, indicates Wisconsin still has 114,000 fewer jobs available as of July than it did before the onset of COVID-19. Leisure and hospitality in particular have been affected, losing 49,600 jobs. According to the report, that has disproportionately affected women and people of color.

Laura Dresser, the associate director of COWS, said the problems in Wisconsin’s job market came about well before the pandemic.

“Many of the problems that the State of Working Wisconsin has documented for more than two decades were really exposed and exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and its impact on work,” said Dresser. “The very workers that have faced the worst wage trends, faced the hardest conditions in their jobs were the workers who were either unemployed, lost their work through the pandemic, or who faced exposure in their jobs and could not be protected from exposure.”