Disappearing Jobs


I was at a kid’s birthday party a few months ago and was reading this Tweet (note: it’s a better idea to spend time with other adults at the party instead of on your phone): https://twitter.com/brentbeshore/status/1005514676669542400?s=12

“We’ve looked at around 300 construction-related companies this year and every one of them says the biggest challenge, by far, is finding skilled trade labor. Most of them said they could do at least 50% more work based on demand, but can’t find the people.

Plenty to infer.”

First, that’s crazy. We could build so much more, but have a significant labor gap. Second, I love following Brent.

After reflecting on that for awhile, I began to ask the question, “could this be a good thing?” For instance, could this be good to help drive the need for technology and automation?

Related, could this be due to the fear of “robots are coming for your job?” How many times have we read news articles about robots cleaning house? I mean, if you felt your job was in danger of extinguishment, wouldn’t you leave that and find something “safer”?

While this is obviously a major headache for companies trying to build more (and the people who are building homes/offies with the higher prices!), I’m happy for workers getting higher wages and the stage getting set for greater automation. Don’t get me wrong, I love gainful employment, but I also love to see us humans thrive in overcoming new challenges through creative and innovative means. This seems neatly timed for the intersection of construction and greater automation.

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