Companies bringing more jobs to Milwaukee; Experts say economy hasn't recovered

There are more jobs coming to Southeast Wisconsin. While one local furniture company makes plans to expand a German company moves into Racine county.

"Right now the job market is tight. The good news is I've been hiring for the past two two-and-a half years," Gary Steinhafel said.

Steinhafel is also getting ready to hire more people at his chain of furniture stores. 
Wednesday the company is breaking ground at a new 107,000 square-foot new distribution warehouse space. 

According to the company, they should employ another 350 to 650 people in the next several years. 

 "We just grown and we've added personnel in our offices, a lot of people in our distribution center, and obviously we had a lot of people hired at the stores and we continuing looking for quality talented people to join the Steinhafel’s team,” Steinhafel said.

There is also job growth further south in Wisconsin. German company Stahlwille, which manufactures hand tools is bringing a sales and service operation center to Racine. 

Plus in March, Kenosha also saw jobs open up at Amazon's distribution center. 
So with all this job creation does that mean southeast Wisconsin is experiencing an economic growth?

Clearly things are better than they were seven, eight, years ago. But I think we have a ways to go yet until we experience full recovery. 

Jim Paetsch with the Milwaukee 7, a development group, says this recent job spurt is clearly a sign of economic growth. However, the trend line has been jagged. Getting good then worse. 

“Things get better for a short period of time and then they get worse for a little while, so I don’t think that by any means we are out of the woods yet.”

The one thing really benefiting workers in Wisconsin says Paetsch is that the world looks at this region as being good for manufacturing jobs.

“Companies around the world recognize us as a manufacturing place. That’s what we’re good at. It’s not aspirational. We are the Silicon Valley of several different manufacturing verticals,” said Paetsch.

Steinhafel also says it’s the worker that pulls in companies.

 “The quality of the labor force is what I think really separates them from a lot of markets,” Steinhafel said.  

Share this article: