Apprenticeships Still Haven’t Returned To Prerecession Levels

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February 19, 2016

Apprenticeships are still lagging behind prerecession numbers in the U.S. While they are on the uptick, their numbers don’t seem to match up with the fact that many builders are complaining about a shortage of skilled workers.

The problem seems to be that many apprenticeship programs only take on new recruits when there will be enough work to keep them occupied. But while there is plenty of work available and contractors are actively seeking more workers, these workers want a lot more pay. Construction pay for nonsupervisory and production workers was up 4.4 percent between January 2015 and January 2016. That number was even larger for plumbers, at 8.5 percent.

However, the overall pay and benefits package at many union shops is still better, according to The Wall Street Journal, which leads to waiting lists for apprenticeship programs. These compensation packages often times are too expensive for contractors, which limits the amount of work that’s available.

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