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Why Some States Are Experiencing A Labor Shortage47:09
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The Associated Press reports that "job openings rose a slight 0.8 percent to 7.14 million, the highest on records dating back to December 2000," according to The Labor Department.   ( Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Associated Press reports that "job openings rose a slight 0.8 percent to 7.14 million, the highest on records dating back to December 2000," according to The Labor Department. ( Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

There are just over seven million jobs available in the U.S., according to numbers released on Monday.

But people are still having trouble finding work.

Especially in places like New Hampshire. The Granite State is struggling to maintain a youthful workforce population and maintain its manufacturing industry. Small businesses are also feeling the effects of a labor shortage during a period of low unemployment. And these issues certainly aren’t limited to New Hampshire.

High costs of living and a lack of interest in pursuing blue collar careers are affecting the labor market across the nation. But New Hampshire’s population is one of the oldest in the nation, meaning the field of potential hires is much lower than it was 20 years ago.

Additionally, due to a need for highly skilled workers, residents of New Hampshire who are qualified for these jobs are more likely to be college bound. Yet some organizations are reaching out to community colleges and high schools to spark interest in a vocational path, in order to boost their declining manufacturing industry. Not only are companies working to attract young people, counties across the country are offering large awards to those who choose to live and work in areas in need of manufacturing and labor jobs.

In St. Clair County, Michigan, some recent college graduates from the area who return home to work are offered up to $15,000. On the East Coast, New England states are trying their best to develop affordable housing and some have considered consolidating school districts in order to cut costs.

How do economies shift to accommodate a labor shortage? What can policymakers do to help workers who are struggling?

Produced by Stef Collett. Text by Jake Rutter.

GUESTS

Dan Guillou, Welder, educator at MAxT Makerspace

Russ Thibeault, President, Applied Economic Research

Ryan Nunn, Policy Director of The Hamilton Project and Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings. @ryandnunn

Christine Carr, Executive director for the NH Career and Technical Educators Association

Randy Maiers, President and CEO of Community Foundation of St Clair County

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright NPR 2019.

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