Wisconsin’s $18 billion paper industry, employing more than 30,000 people, faces a labor shortage even with the shutdown of mills that were a cornerstone of rural communities.

The industry’s share of workers under age 25, at less than nine percent, is among the lowest in manufacturing. Many of the state’s paper factories are in counties where population growth has been stagnant or in decline, a new study from the Wisconsin Paper Council has revealed.

Moreover, the industry faces intense competition for hired help.

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