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Business FAQs

What wages should I pay my employees?

The most current wage information can be accessed using the Wage Comparison tool. This tool allows you to compare wage data for a single occupation across multiple counties for three experience levels. State and Metro level wage data is also displayed. There are links to reference articles and guides on WORKnet’s Starting a Business page that will assist you with wage and salary decisions.

Additional wage information, including historical data, is available on WORKnet in the LMI for Business section:

How do I find qualified workers?

The Department of Workforce Development’s Job Center network offers employers the opportunity to reach thousands of job-ready applicants through their free job listing site, Job Center of Wisconsin. Employers can login and post, edit, and delete their own listings.

What is the demographic profile of workers in my area?

Demographic data is available through the WI Department of Administration's (DOA), Demographic Services Center and through the US Census Bureau's American FactFinder. The data available on the DOA Web site is census data; in addition the DOA site also provides population estimates and projections not found on the Census Web site.

How many available workers are in my area?

Employers can gauge worker availability by looking at Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data available on WORKnet.  This data captures the size of the labor force and the number of employed and unemployed residents who are actively seeking employment. Residents who are unemployed and not looking for employment are not included in these statistics. Also, LAUS data does not measure underemployed residents, who can also serve as a significant source of available workers.

What is the training and educational profile of workers in my area?

Demographic data, including educational attainment, is also available through the WI Department of Administration, Demographic Services Center.

Where can I find information on specific businesses in my area or my industry?

Use WORKnet’s Employer Search tool to find employers in a given county by industry, occupation, or name. For each employer listed, WORKnet provides information on location, employment size range, and detailed industry description.

The Major Employers search tool displays up to 25 major employers in a selected county. This information is provided by Infogroup, a leading provider of business data. Each day Infogroup data specialists scour thousands of sources to add new data, update existing records, and eliminate duplicates. They call companies on a regular basis to verify valuable information and ensure the data is current, accurate and relevant.

Use WORKnet’s Industry Projections Search to see what the short- and long-term growth will be for a particular industry. You can also view long-term and short-term Projections Publications for information on employment growth, largest industries, and fastest growing industries. Another resource for learning about expected growth in your industry is the Census Bureau’s LED Tool (local employment dynamics).

Where can I find information on my region's economy?

Our annual County Profiles provide a detailed view of the most recent changes in the local economies. Charts, maps and tables display the recent behavior of a number of important economic indicators. Included indicators are population and demographics, commuting patterns, labor force dynamics, leading industries and occupations, and personal income.

What forms do I need to fill out to start a business?

WORKnet’s Starting a Business section contains links to articles, guides, tools, and websites for businesses and entrepreneurs who are starting businesses in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Business Toolkit, by Forward Wisconsin, provides links to business assistance and economic development organizations. In addition, the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions Business Forms page consolidates all the state’s business-related forms in one place.

What is Labor Market Information?

Labor Market Information (LMI) includes, but is not limited to, such key factors as changes in the level and/or composition of economic activity, the population, employment and unemployment, income and earnings, and wage rates and fringe benefits. LMI can be used in making decisions about marketing, determining the available labor pool, hiring workers, paying wages, determining site locations, or expanding your business.

How does the Department of Workforce Development obtain Labor Market Information?

The Department of Workforce Development collects data in a variety of ways. One program obtains employment and wage data from quarterly reports that are submitted by businesses who participate in the Unemployment Insurance program and by conducting a supplemental industry verification survey. Two other programs survey businesses for industry hours, wage, and occupation data. A fourth program develops monthly estimates of labor force participation. Learn more about these programs, including who to contact if you have more specific questions about the data.

WORKnet is moving! We have developed a new site to house the data and resources currently available on WORKnet. Visit to start using our new, interactive tools and resources. WORKnet will be transitioned to WisConomy in the fall of 2018. Please email or contact us with any questions. E-Government Portal
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  The information on this site is updated regularly. The same search run at another time may produce different results.