By Kevin Carr with WSAW
A national online jobs platform is putting Wausau in the spotlight.
ZipRecruiter compiled its list of the top ten job markets across the country for 2018. Wausau ranks ninth on the list. 10 different factors were looked at, including industry diversity, affordability, ease of commute, and unemployment.
Wausau's Planning, Community, and Economic Development Director Christian Schock said he's not entirely surprised at the ranking.
"It's really a testament to obviously the city's partnership with our employers to expand and to invest in Wausau as a whole," Schock said.
That partnership, in addition to expanding infrastructure, and investing in quality of life project, like the city's riverfront, are important to helping attract talent to Wausau, which in turn helps employers, Schock explained.
"All of those elements provide the kind of vitality that Wausau would need to remain competitive with our peer communities."
ZipRecruiter's chief economist Cathy Barrera said the commute around Wausau helped land the city on the list.
"In particular, we took a look at walk-ability and public transport, using Walk Score's 2017 rating, and Wausau scored very high," Barrera explained.
She also points out to its recent unemployment numbers.
"For October 2017, the unemployment rate was 2.5 percent," Barrera said. "The national average is considerably higher at 4.1 percent."
But staying competitive takes work. The city says retaining talent will be important, as well as continuing to build and invest for the future.
"To stay in the area that you grew up," Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke said. "I don't want to lose those people. Those are the ones for the future of our city."
"We always need to do more, and it's because our peer competition is doing more," Schock said. "They're investing in their urban water fronts. They're building downtown housing, they're attracting new employers, and that's what we're doing too."
Oshkosh also made ZipRecruiter's top ten job markets list for 2018, landing at the number three spot. Fargo, North Dakota was named as the best job market in the U.S.