RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ October job report showed the addition of 260,000 jobs. Some of the biggest gains were in the health care and hospitality industries.
While the report shows unemployment rose slightly to 3.7 percent, economists say that means more people are looking for jobs. David Price said he hopes more people will look to the construction field.
He operates a remodeling company but he struggled to keep project managers and carpenters on staff this year.
“If you had enough workers, maybe that subcontractor could get to my job three days earlier, be done three days earlier and that wouldn’t lead to delays,” Price said.
Price is president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. He also works with Vernon Malone College and Career Academy where he encourages young people to consider the construction field.
Price said students don’t have to wait very long to be hired by firms after graduation.
“We have a major aging issues in the workforce,” he said. “A lot of carpentry-skilled people, you had those courses a long time ago in schools but you don’t now.”
While the jobs report showed construction jobs held steady, more workers are needed to fill demand. It’s especially true in the Triangle where construction is happening at every turn.
“How do we get more students into the [trade] schools? And then double that with how do you get teachers who can actually teach the curriculum that needs to be taught for trades?” Price asked.
But NC State economist Michael Walden says the Federal Reserve actually wants fewer jobs created.
“Their whole intent is to reduce spending in the economy so it takes the pressure off of prices. That’s the traditional way the federal reserve deals with inflation,” said Walden.
He explained that if we want to slow inflation, we need to cool down the economy. Walden said the federal reserve does that by raising interest rates.
“Which translates to the average person, everything that you buy using credit—credit cards, home mortgage, personal loan, auto loan—all those rates are going to go up,” said
But as workers know, pay is not keeping up. The jobs report shows average earning rose by less than half a percentage point in the last month.