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Where did everyone go?

It wasn’t too long ago when it seemed like someone was coming into the shop looking for work about every day. These days, it’s a rare occurrence.

Statistics suggest that almost everyone is working now so the number of people needing jobs is drastically reduced. And the disruption of the workflow caused by people wanting to just walk in and get interviewed for a job is not something we pine for. But it seems a bit odd to not be seeing those hopeful faces every day.

It has been suggested that this is being caused by the fact that many workers from other countries have fled the U.S. in fear and that many more have been prevented from entering. But many of the job seekers coming to my shop were not immigrants. So that does not really explain the phenomenon.

Whatever the cause, finding workers, qualified or not, in today’s economic climate is becoming more and more difficult. The fact that many tend to look upon the trades as a less than acceptable career path is not helping.

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Where did they go?

A recent column in the July 2019 issue of Woodshop News, “What’s the deal with finding skilled labor?”, discussed the shortage of cabinetmakers, joiners and woodworkers in general.