Today, the Des Moines Register posted an editorial piece entitled: The Issue: The People Drought. The piece highlights the major challenge that Iowa (like most of the non-coastal cities) will face in the coming decades. According to demographers and other experts, we’ll face a massive shortfall of workers here. It’s estimated that by 2012 (only 6 years from now mind you) that we’ll have 150k more jobs than workers to fill them.
It’s estimated that Iowa will have 150,000 more jobs than workers by
2012, and it could get much worse thereafter. Rather than new
businesses coming to Iowa, the specter is of businesses leaving Iowa
because they won’t be able to hire enough workers.
Living in California all of my life until 2005…I never had to face an issue like this…nor do I think we’ll have to face it here.
Here’s why. These dire predictions of worker shortage seem to rarely if ever come true. The statistics assume that at "retirement age", baby boomers will perform a mass exodus from the work force. Wrong. Using the same statistics, I’m sure we’d find that a majority of those boomers have under capitalized their retirements..and thus will be changing careers, filling in at mall jobs part time, and the uber professionals will be called in to perform their acts of gray haired wisdom at companies around the state.
No one here is throwing illegal immigration into the mix either. You can continue to put off the inevitable by allowing unfettered immigration to "fill the jobs"…but what job deficits are we really talking about here? Are we facing a lack of 150k skilled workers, burger flippers, or doctors? No one ever really makes that clear when they speak expertly.
The core of this insane political football remains:
- If education was the priority of this state above all else…we’d have the best starting point of ANY state from which to build our foundation. End of discussion.
- If Iowa and the Midwest puts its full force behind becoming the scientific and ag/biofuel technology leader…we’d have no trouble attracting smart people and entrepreneurs and venture capital after the initial ethanol hangover wears off.
- Stopping illegal immigration will force the economy to realign itself with the proper market forces at play…this will throw all formulae off by an order of magnitude.