Earlier this month I asked where Governor Scott Walker was on tariffs that were having a negative impact on businesses in that great state Open for Business Wisconsin: Where Is Governor Walker On Tariffs And International Trade? There were several articles linked and quoted in my blog post, but one in particular bears calling out now: Rising costs for labor, lots and lumber pushing up new-home prices, industry pros say.
And one quote in particular:
“The industry’s had a worker shortage for the last four years or so,” Dietz (Robert Dietz: chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders) said. “We’re probably short about 200,000 construction workers.”
So where do we get 200,000 workers…worker that since we don’t have them…will likely need some training. So since we are training anyway:
How about the 53206 zip code in Milwaukee and other similar neighborhoods throughout the US? The unemployment rate is always quoted as being higher among African Americans than the stated rates for the general population. Train them…hire them…and keep in mind that you might have to provide some transportation as well. But there’s no reason you can’t find willing employees.
How about Puerto Rico? Because of Washington’s continued neglect the place is still a hot mess. And guess what, they don’t need visas or passports or work permits because they are American citizens. But most of the same issues related above probably apply.
And lastly what about all of the refugees who want to come to the United States…so eager to work that they are entering the country illegally. It is insane to think that we can continue to grow with out continued immigration. But again the same issues apply…and someone is going to have to step up and sponsor some refugees.
The real deal is we don’t have enough labor in this country to keep growing. We particularly don’t have enough labor to do many of the farm labor and construction labor jobs that need to be done. The linked article says so. Other articles have talked about labor shortages for harvesting crops and doing landscape work around the entire nation.
Immigration needs to be fixed. Education needs to be fixed. And business needs to invest their big tax cuts in training and recruitment if they want to survive.