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Monthly job growth flat in September, but well ahead of a year ago

Quoted: “There isn’t a lot of evidence in the data that people are staying home,” said Laura Dresser, an economist and associate director of COWS, a University of Wisconsin-Madison policy research center, noting the state’s continued above-average labor force participation.

Other factors, such as the continued difficulty in finding child care, are likely keeping people from working who would otherwise want to do so, she said. One reason for Wisconsin’s higher labor force participation rate is that more women are in the state’s workforce, and are likely to be disproportionately affected by the disruption in child care.

Dissatisfaction over pay and frustration with customers who angrily object to masking have given restaurant and hospitality workers reason to pursue other jobs instead, said Steven Deller, of the UW Extension’s agricultural and applied economics department. “There’s lots of little things going on here,” Deller said. “I think a lot of folks are simply saying, ‘No — do I really want to do that any more?’”