If you’ve been keeping up with the monthly Jobs Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you know that the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in a very long time. While there are plenty of jobs to be had, what many industries are experiencing is a lack of workers. Here are three that are going through a major labor shortage.

Truck Drivers

In late 2015, news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post reported on the trucker shortage rocking the logistics industry. Based on the American Trucking Association’s report, America would be short 175,000 truck drivers by 2024 if the current trends hold. What are some of the causes of the labor shortage? One is the availability of other blue collar jobs which makes it easier for truckers and would-be truckers to go into another career. The shortage is also due to not being able to replace aging drivers.  This association also reports that the average age of an over-the-road driver is 49 years old while private fleet driver have a median age of 52 years old. That means a lot more drivers are retiring and there aren’t enough new ones to replace them.

Skilled Construction Workers

While the building industry has bounced back since the recession, the labor pool has been slow to follow resulting in a labor shortage in construction work. While spending on US residential construction soared to $36 billion in August according to government stats, there were 676,500 fewer workers to do the work. Which skilled construction workers are needed the most? Cement masons, carpenters, equipment operators, laborers, and welders to name a few. One reason for this is fewer people are entering trade schools to become the workers this industry needs. Another is the fact that many workers who were skilled laborers before the recession found work in other fields when the jobs dried up and didn’t return.

Restaurant Cooks

Despite all of the popular cooking shows you see on TV, the restaurant industry is suffering from a labor shortage of cooks. While there are plenty of head chefs to go around, there aren’t enough workers to carry out their culinary creations in the kitchen. Restaurants in cities like Chicago, New York, Seattle and San Francisco are having a hard time hiring line cooks. What’s causing this labor shortage? Like construction, many young people aren’t getting into this line of work. Instead, they want to quickly become the culinary superstars they see on TV instead of going the traditional route of working their way up the career ladder. The number of new restaurants is outpacing the number of workers available to service them while the cost of living is keeping line cooks out of the major cities that need them.  

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