TUE AM News: Report details cost burden of housing; Registered nurse workforce could be short nearly 23,000 nurses by 2040

— The share of Wisconsin renters and homeowners who are “cost-burdened” by housing is lower than the national rate, a UW-Madison report shows. 

The report is from the university’s Division of Extension. It notes cost-burdened households are defined as those spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Among owner-occupied housing units in the state, 22.2 percent were cost-burdened over 2016-2020, the report shows. That’s compared to the national average of 27.4 percent. 

Report authors note some counties in the state had more than 30 percent of owner-occupied housing above the cost-burdened level. That includes Menominee, Iron, Adams, Forest, Sawyer and Vilas counties. Several of these counties “have high shares of seasonal and recreational housing that influence prices for owner-occupied housing,” they wrote. 

Meanwhile, 43.2 percent of rental households in Wisconsin were cost-burdened, versus 49.1 percent at the national level. 

The report found greater levels of cost-burdened owner-occupied units in coastal states, the Rocky Mountain region and Appalachian counties. It also shows the geographic distribution of cost-burdened renters “somewhat reflects” that of owners. 

“While many counties have high shares of cost burdened owner and renter occupied housing units, the correlation between these two measures is somewhat weak (0.27),” report authors wrote. 

The analysis includes some caveats. Using HUD’s cost burden definition of 30 percent doesn’t reflect differences in income, as a more affluent household meeting that threshold “is more likely to have the financial resources to purchase other basic goods and services,” report authors noted. 

“These differences are especially noteworthy given the current high inflation rates that disproportionately impact lower income households,” they wrote. 

And they note that income distribution in a given area “may also mask differences” among cost-burdened households. At the national level, 59 percent of owner-occupied units with a mortgage and income under $75,000 are cost-burdened. That’s compared to just 9.6 percent of households making $75,000 or more. 

See the full report: https://economicdevelopment.extension.wisc.edu/2022/05/26/housing-affordability-a-challenge-for-wisconsin-homeowners-and-renters/ 

— A new report projects Wisconsin’s registered nurse workforce could see a shortage of nearly 23,000 nurses by 2040. 

The Department of Workforce Development report includes three models projecting possible labor shortfalls in nursing. These draw on data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Health Workforce Data Collaborative, DWD’s own figures and other sources. 

Under the “status quo” scenario, in which the nursing workforce is projected to follow the age demographics of the population overall, the estimated labor gap is 33 percent by 2040, or 22,900 nurses. 

Under a second model that assumes the growth of RNs follows the same trend seen since 2020, the estimated gap would be just 3 percent by 2040, or 3,000 nurses. Report authors note this projection is “statistically a strong fit” based on past trends, but is “likely optimistic given the demographic pressures” limiting population growth. 

Meanwhile, the third model assumes continued growth but at a decreasing rate, using historical survey data. Under this projection, the estimated gap would be 27 percent by 2040, or 19,800 nurses. This outcome is described as “likely the most realistic.” 

“This model is both a statistically strong fit and intuitively fits with demographic pressures facing the workforce,” report authors wrote. “This model projects a substantial but less drastic shortage than the original demographically driven model.” 

They note the number of nurses in Wisconsin has “largely kept up with” demand prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“However, current events shed light on what a future would look like if health care staffing needs are not met,” they wrote. “The results of the forecasting models indicate this is a very real threat.” 

See the full report: https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/wisconomy/wits_info/downloads/nurse-survey-reports/supply-nurse-reports/2020_WI%20RN%20Nurse%20Supply%20Demand%20Forecast%202020-2040.pdf 

See DWD’s release: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/press/2022/220526-nurses-survey.htm 

— The Dane County Health and Human Needs Committee has moved to form a subcommittee aimed at addressing health care workforce challenges. 

According to a release from the SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin union, members of the Health Care and Public Health Workforce Needs Subcommittee will be appointed by Wednesday. They will meet June 20 and will hold a public hearing within the following month, the release shows. 

Recommendations for how to boost recruitment and retention, promote training efforts and improve mental health of frontline workers will be delivered to the committee at an Aug. 11 meeting, per the release. 

SEIU President President Pat Raes, a subcommittee member and registered nurse at Meriter for over 30 years, says frontline health care workers often feel like they aren’t being heard. 

“Healthcare workers are utterly drained and depleted, suffering from trauma, and many are leaving the healthcare industry altogether,” Raes said in a statement. “The Health Care and Public Health Workforce Needs Subcommittee will be able to assess our most pressing problems, review best practices, and make recommendations for innovative, creative solutions.”

See the county’s release announcing the subcommittee: https://www.countyofdane.com/PressDetail/11082  

See the SEIU release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2022/seiu-healthcare-wisconsin-nurses-and-caregivers-applaud-creation-of-dane-county-health-care-and-public-health-workforce-needs-subcommittee/ 

— The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation recently announced it has joined Rock River Capital Partners in investing in ReadySet Technologies. 

The De Pere company aims to use its virtual reality technology to create a platform for product development, category management, consumer research and more to quickly create, share, test and optimize concepts prior to physical investment.

“It’s rare to find an early-stage company that has a proven and established management team, Fortune 100 companies as customers, and a world-class VR software solution ready for the rapidly expanding metaverse in a post-COVID-19 world,” Rock River Capital Partners Partner Chris Eckstrom said in a statement. 

ReadySet represents Rock River’s first portfolio company of 2022. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. 

See more at Madison Startups: https://www.madisonstartups.com/rock-river-capital-invests-in-readyset-technologies/ 


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<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin: Nurses and caregivers applaud creation of Dane County Health Care and Public Health Workforce Needs Subcommittee

Dept. of Workforce Development: Releases 2022 nurses survey; projects increased demand through 2040