The labor market continues to be an obstacle to a full economic recovery, leading many analysts to reduce their growth forecasts for the U.S. economy.  There are many potential explanations as to why the labor market has been slow to bounce back. Among the leading candidates are: reduced worker incentives due to increased government support, seasonality, COVID-19 concerns, and lack of childcare. Which factor is most significant and which policy actions might improve the situation?

Join fellow UW alumni and friends online for a livestream and Q & A with a panel of experts who will discuss the ongoing labor shortage. The talk will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Rimantas Buinevicius MS’87 is an executive search partner at Patina Solutions, a company that specializes in pairing executive- and managerial-level professional talent with organizations that need their expertise. He is also the chair of a Vistage advisory group in the southern Wisconsin and greater Madison areas, providing CEO coaching and peer advising. Prior to these positions, he served for more than 30 years in various executive roles for companies specializing in financial investments and technological solutions for the fields of education, business, medicine, and government.


Laura Dresser, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at UW–Madison. She is also the associate director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a national think-and-do tank based at the UW, where she has worked for more than two decades. Her research and practice focus on low-wage work and workforce development systems. She has analyzed the structure of low-wage jobs and worked extensively with labor, business, and community leaders to build stronger labor market systems. A coeditor of The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America’s Labor Market, she is currently working on issues surrounding care work and the connection between quality care, quality jobs, and minimum wages.


Kim Ruhl, PhD, is an associate professor of economics and the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair in Economics at UW–Madison. He is also associate director of the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE). Ruhl’s research focuses on international economics, models of firm heterogeneity, and national income accounting. He is currently a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a special sworn employee of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, where he studies the ways that multinational firms produce and sell goods and services around the world.


A recording of this livestream will be available on uwalumni.com after the event.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association®.