NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Finding Workers”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at finding workers.   Mike, now that the economic recovery is established, we’re beginning to hear about some of the problems associated with increased commercial activity.  One of those problems is the lack of qualified construction workers.  Why is the shortage occurring?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Two factors
  2. Construction industry was the most devastated during the recession – many of the workers moved to other work (like in energy exploration) or retired; also, immigration of skilled foreign workers slowed
  3. Although the industry is coming back, still tentative for many – can’t afford to pay wages that would typically attract new workers
  4. One byproduct – increased move to prefabrication – where labor needs are less – will reshape the industry
  5. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service