Report Warns Of Future Mass. Labor Shortage

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A new report out Monday predicts a severe labor shortage coming in Massachusetts -- not because of a lack of highly educated workers, but because of a lack of workers with a vocational education.

The report estimates the state's community colleges and vocational schools will not be able to meet the job market's demands.

"The real barrier to meeting some of those needs is very much in our vocational schools that desperately need to be expanded," Barry Bluestone, a report author and professor of political economy at Northeastern University, told WBUR's Morning Edition on Monday.

He pointed to waiting lists for the state's existing vocational schools, and said Massachusetts has not built a new vocational school in 30 years.

The report estimates that by the year 2022, three out of five job openings in the state will require less than a bachelor's degree.

And Bluestone says the state's labor shortage could be exacerbated because the existing labor force here is growing older faster than other parts of the country, and so more workers will be needed to step in.

With additional reporting by the WBUR Newsroom

This article was originally published on November 09, 2015.

This segment aired on November 9, 2015.

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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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