Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Labor Shortage In The United States Becoming An Increasingly Dire Issue

American economic growth is highly dependent on the quality and quantity of workers. Currently, the United States is facing a severe skilled and unskilled worker shortage that has long- and short-term economic implications.

While President Trump promised 4 percent economic growth, this objective will be extremely difficult to fulfill unless the American workforce begins to meet certain key requirements. Diverse industries are looking for both skilled and unskilled workers to fill immediate workforce needs or else consumers will begin to see food prices increase, longer wait times for product fulfillment, and services uncompleted. In a January 2017 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 73 percent of businesses had a difficult time finding qualified workers and 55 percent identified worker shortages as a bigger concern than federal regulations (41 percent) and low infrastructure investment (18 percent). Economists studying the problem feel things may only worsen unless certain changes occur immediately.

Help wanted: more skilled workers

Skilled workers fall into two categories:

  • Highly skilled such as engineers, scientists, and technicians who carry degrees and advanced degrees in their chosen fields.
  • Workers with "middle skills" requiring more experience than just a high school diploma yet less than a four-year college degree such as welders, electricians, or machinists.

The problem is that most companies are needing workers with middle skills that include technical knowledge and a better-than-average understanding of the tools and machines they will operate while also involving a high degree of problem-solving skills. According to a survey of small business owners by U.S. Bank, 61 percent said they were experiencing extreme to moderate difficulty in finding quality skilled workers in order to expand their businesses. The Federal Reserve Bank reported that labor shortages in combination with the need to pay higher wages are "restraining growth" in industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and construction.

This article was written by

Global Risk Insights (GRI) provides expert political risk analysis for the 21st century. Rapidly changing political environments pose significant obstacles, but also great opportunities. Understanding the nexus between politics and business has never been more important. Red tape, revolution, conflict, corruption – political factors make doing business in the global arena a challenge for even the best prepared companies. Our goal is to offer crucial insights and forecasts that allow you to optimize your strategy. When you need more depth on current issues, GRI brings you the world's only free, online political risk analysis. From Washington DC to Cairo to Beijing, our contributors are global in reach, local in expertise and have experience across the public and private sectors. GRI helps you know your world.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.