Worker Shortages

This is an excerpt from an article in the Daily Signal:

The great conundrum of the U.S. economy today is that we have record numbers of working age people out of the labor force at the same time we have businesses desperately trying to find workers.

As an example, the American Transportation Research Institute estimates there are 30,000-35,000 trucker jobs that could be filled tomorrow if workers would take these jobs – a shortage that could rise to 240,000 by 2022.

While the jobs market overall remains weak, demand is high in certain sectors.  For skilled and reliable mechanics, welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, computer technicians, and nurses, jobs are plentiful; one can often find a job in 48 hours.

As Bob Funk, the president of Express Services, which matches almost half a million temporary workers with employers each year, said, “If you have a useful skill, we can find you a job. But too many are graduating from high school and college without any skills at all.”

Anyone remember when shop class was popular in school?

The lesson, to play off of the famous Waylon Jennings song: Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be philosophy majors.

Three years ago the chronic disease of the economy was a shortage of jobs. This shortage persists in many sectors. But two other shortages are now being felt—the shortage of trained employees and of low-skilled employees willing to work.

Patrick Doyle, the president of Domino’s Pizza, says that the franchises around the country are having a hard time filling delivery and clerical positions. “It’s a very tight labor market out there now.”

The idea that blue-collar jobs aren’t a pathway to the middle class and higher is antiquated and wrong. Factory work today is often highly sophisticated and knowledge-based with workers using intricate scientific equipment.

Some parents say they would be disappointed if their kids want to become a craftsman—instead of going to college. This attitude discourages kids from learning how to make things, which contributes to sector-specific worker shortages. Meanwhile, there are too many people who want to go into the talking professions: lawyers, media, clergy, professors, and so on.

Even a lawyer needs someone to build his house!

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