The storms in Texas and Florida caused billions of dollars in damage to property and will spark a huge rebuilding effort. Problem is there aren’t enough construction workers to speed the recovery.
The shortage of skilled workers is nationwide as more and more high school grads shun vocational training for a four-year college degree. That creates another problem. We don’t have enough jobs for many college graduates and they end up doing jobs that really don’t call for a college degree.
The truth is many students in college would do better learning a trade and many are better suited for that kind of endeavor.
The shortage of workers will add costs and time to the recovery in areas hit by two of the most devastating hurricanes to ever hit mainland America.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 225,000 construction job openings in June, up 30 percent in the last year and 125 percent since 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal. The labor shortage is severe in areas hit by the hurricanes, such as Miami and Houston.
Adding to the shortage is that many young men can’t pass the drug test required by most companies. Others are immigrants who don’t have the documentation required under the law — in other words, they aren’t in the states legally and a company that hires them faces penalties if caught. More guest-worker visas for construction work should be granted by the government.
We’ve heard often that the United States will never recover from where we were in the early 2000s because we don’t have the skilled workers or trainable workers to fill jobs.