With the start of hurricane season, a reporter called to ask if we have the labor to rebuild from a major storm. My answer was immediate: No. Not even close. We still haven’t recovered from the last major storm — Harvey — because of a severe labor shortage in construction.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued an order identifying industries considered essential during this pandemic. I was pleased that he included construction on the list.
The Rational Middle podcast hosts Chris Lyon and Loren Steffy — with the help of immigration attorneys Charles Foster and Jacob Monty — dive into America’s troubled history of employment verification, workforce recruiting, education, misclassification, and the subsequent impacts on our workforce. They also discuss potential pathways to a solution.
On a recent episode of NPR's 1A, they delved into the real world consequences of stepped-up immigration enforcement in the form of recent workplace raids.
From the show notes:
"The raids came as the U.S. is experiencing a nationwide labor shortage. While the raided poultry plants held job fairs to try to replace the detained staff, industry executives say they struggle to hire enough workers."