Employers in southern Florida are having a difficult time finding enough skilled labor to fill the influx of construction jobs in the area.
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Local contractors are trying to fill up positions that don’t require a college degree and can offer salaries starting at $75,000 a year with full benefits and a pension.
“Everybody is having a hard time finding people across the board,” Peggy Marker, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Marker Construction, told FOX Business’ Charles Payne on Thursday. “Everything from project administrators, all the way up to project executives. It’s a huge shortage.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there are 243,000 open construction jobs nationwide. The South Florida area has seen over 6,300 construction jobs added since May of last year, more than any other business sector, according to the Miami Herald.
Marker said the shortage of skilled workers can be attributed to people leaving the industry and the state after the Great Recession. During the recession, an estimated 1.5 million residential construction workers reportedly left the industry.
There’s a lack of interest in skilled trades because families and educational institutions push for everyone to go to college, according to Marker.
“We’ve got across the board tire layers, electricians, plumbers who have true art to pass on and nobody to pass it onto,” she said on “Making Money.”
Many young people find themselves facing up to $100,000 in college debt. Marker said more and more people are coming to the conclusion that they can earn a good living without accumulating a large amount of college debt.
“People are going to start to realize, I don’t have to go to college and take on this huge debt and essentially, probably make the same amount of money at the end of the day,” she said.