NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Cities Face Shortages Of Skilled Workers

September 23, 1999

A survey of 110 mayors in 37 states has revealed that a lack of skilled workers is jeopardizing their efforts to attract businesses -- and even keep the ones they have.

  • Four out of every five mayors surveyed reported such labor problems and 77 percent said shortages have grown worse over the past five years.
  • Almost nine in 10 mayors describe the shortfalls as serious or very serious.
  • Six in 10 of the mayors said worker shortages were affecting technology businesses most seriously.
  • Almost half say manufacturing is seriously affected, while one-third cite the effect on the health field and about one-quarter say the shortage hurts construction.

Nearly four in 10 of the mayors say it is hurting their ability to keep existing businesses in their cities. And 62 percent say it has affected efforts to expand businesses.

The survey was conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Source: Patrick O'Driscoll, "Mayors: Lack of Skilled Workers Hurting Cities," USA Today, September 23, 1999.


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