Earlier this month, the U.S. employment rate reached a ten-year low of 4.4% and bringing the economy back to what many experts consider to be “full employment.” Even with this good news, several business and industries are still in the midst of a labor shortage. Take a look at some of the industries facing labor shortages.
As many as 86% of all construction businesses reported challenges hiring qualified employees in 2015, and not much has changed since then. Thousands of skilled employees abandoned the construction industry during the recession as the rate of work slowed and projects stalled, but as construction has picked up again, those workers have decided to stay in other industries. Across the country, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Association of Home Builders estimates that there are 143,000 unfilled construction jobs.
More and more truck drivers are moving toward retirement, and transportation companies are having a hard time finding employees to fill the jobs that retirees leave behind. In the current economy, jobs are plentiful, so it’s easy for truckers and potential truckers to find other lines of work instead of climbing into their cabs for a long haul. There could be as many as 175,000 unfilled trucking jobs by 2024, according to American Trucking Association, if current trends persist.
In spite of rising wages—in California alone, for example, wages for farm laborers grew by 13% between 2010 and 2015—farmers and agricultural businessmen have been largely unable to recruit men and women to work in their fields. Native-born Americans are often unwilling to work in agriculture, and while many farmers turn to immigrants to fill these jobs, stronger enforcement of immigration laws means that there are fewer immigrants entering the country and looking for work.
Although politicians frequently bemoan the death of blue-collar factory jobs, the manufacturing industry is actually projected to have as many as two million jobs go unfilled over the course of the next few years. According to the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte the industry will need to hire more than 3.4 million employees in order to replace retiring workers and fill jobs created as the result of growth, but due to skills shortages, negative perceptions of manufacturing, and other factors, more than half of those positions will go unfilled.