Numbers from the federal labor department show manufacturing workers in the La Crosse area have seen their wages decrease over the past five years.

From 2010 to 2015, the average annual wage for a manufacturing or production worker in the La Crosse-Onalaska area has fallen more than $900.

It's a trend other major metro areas across the state are seeing as well, including Janesville, where pay has dropped more than $6,500 in five years.

Local labor leaders say average wages haven't fallen as much in La Crosse because manufacturing wages here were lower to begin with and the city has a more diverse economic landscape.

"We have a strong health care industry, and a stronger than average retail trade industry. You look at a Janesville, Beloit, Racine, Kenosha, they've always built their house in manufacturing. So when manufacturing takes a nosedive, their house falls deeper," says president of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO Bill Brockmiller.

Labor leaders say the loss of collective bargaining rights is a major factor in falling wages.

Governor Scott Walker says there aren't enough skilled workers in the state to fill the higher-paying manufacturing positions.