Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Faces Labor Shortage

 In Cities, Future of Infrastructure, Uncategorized

Fort Lauderdale, FL — President Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan is certainly, as he might say, huge. But it faces a significant challenge — the people to do the building.

New River Investments portfolio manager and Bloomberg View columnist Conor Sen spoke to the CityAge Florida conference about the consequences of the new administration’s stated plan to spend $100 billion a year over ten years.

Such an investment would require a massive number of workers who aren’t currently available, he said. According to the analysis provided by Sen, there are currently 6.8 million construction workers in America, 1.2 million of whom are undocumented.

But a $100 billion infusion for infrastructure building would outstrip their capacity. An additional 500,000 workers would be needed in the first year to execute Trump’s plan. With construction unemployment at an all-time low, workers would have to be poached from other industries or countries.

Sen said there are also expected to be competing demands for construction workers from the housing and energy sectors, as well as local and state construction projects that he expects will pick up with the economic recovery. He predicts the labor scarcity will have an inflationary impact on construction costs, which in turn could feed into broad-based inflation in the years ahead.

Copyright CityAge 2017

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