The critical lack of skilled labor in the U.S. An interesting anecdote from an economic commentator who works in the lumber business in the US, about generational changes and how the youngster’s enchantment with smartphones and drugs is leading to economic change.
This labor crisis is producing significant wage inflation, and will only accelerate over time. Millions of jobs in trucking, construction, manufacturing, and virtually any other job essential to the flow of goods and services in the economy are going begging,
The crisis in trucking is especially concerning. Jobs which pay $60-100k with benefits are going unfilled as a whole generation of millennials with college degrees in things like sociology choose to wait for an IT job which will never come. Add to it the epidemic of opioid addiction and other alarming social trends and you have a labor pool and economy on the ragged edge.
I talk to many people in the construction industry and the overwhelming consensus is they’ve never seen anything like it. Furthermore they’ve never seen consumer trends like this — largely, a total lack of interest by millennials in nearly anything other than their technology.
How this gets resolved without an economic meltdown is a mystery. For now though many skilled job wages are appreciating 10-30% annually and still getting no takers. A typical manufacturing plant now goes through 100 employment apps to find just 1 or 2 qualified workers. One large window manufacturer I talk to has 24 unfilled over the road driving positions and they are already experiencing delays in shipments. … Contrary to the belief of many, robotics and autonomous vehicles will not solve the problem.