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Mining Companies Impacted By Worker Shortage
Like many industries throughout the U.S. economy, the mining industry is being hit hard with a shortage of workers and companies are struggling to keep pace with growing demand. In a great article on Tuesday, The New York Times highlighted the severe challenges that companies are facing in hiring qualified employees. Unlike other industries where retiring baby-boomers are the primary factor behind worker shortages, the mining industry is also being hit by the unforeseen market forces of rapidly growing, global demand for commodities. Equally as problematic, changes in technology and general modernization of the mining industry have increased the training, education, and skills required for the average worker. These changes have not only made it more difficult to find qualified employees, but they have also resulted in higher salaries, longer, more intensive training, and larger investments in their human capital. Given the low unemployment and a growing economy, the tremendous macro-economic trend of retiring baby-boomers, and specific factors in particular industries, it’s no surprise that the average earnings in the U.S. on both a weekly and hourly basis rose 2.1% after inflation in January. I’d expect more of that well into the foreseeable future.
[tags]Shortage of Mining Workers, Retiring Baby-Boomers, Labor Shortage, U.S. Economy, Household Earnings[/tags]