Despite the recession and near 20-percent unemployment in the construction trades, officials in Vancouver, British Columbia, are warning that a dire shortage of construction workers looms in the very near future. This westernmost Canadian state says 26,000 additional workers will be needed by 2017.
I’m almost certain a similar shortage is about to strike the U.S. construction industry, once the economy, particularly residential construction bottoms out. The problem has two components. It’s hard to recruit young people for work in industries that go through such severe boom and bust cycles. And the education establishment in this country is determined to fund the illusion that everybody needs to go to college rather than learn a useful skill.