Labor shortage may require economic rebalancing | Editorial

New Jersey has responded by requiring direct care workers in long-term care facilities to be paid at least $ 3 an hour above the minimum wage – which is $ 13 an hour as of Saturday 1st. January.

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority is among thousands of employers nationwide who can’t find enough truck drivers with business licenses. The shortage of truck drivers has been a major factor in disrupting supply chains.

At ACUA – which provides waste and recycling services to 14 county municipalities and four in neighboring counties – many pickups have been late and stops have been missed due to too few workers. Rick Dovey, the authority’s executive director, said the staffing level was down 25%.

Drivers are getting $ 20 an hour and a good package of benefits, Dovey said, after raising workers’ wages twice during the pandemic. But it’s not competitive when private companies pay similar drivers $ 28 an hour.

ACUA also cannot hire enough workers who, among other essential tasks, get on and off trucks, pick up trash and recycling materials, and dump the carts into the compactor. These workers get $ 15 an hour, plus additional benefits worth $ 20 an hour, but Dovey said “for many that doesn’t seem to matter.”

One factor is certainly that the physically demanding work of blue-collar workers is more suitable for the young and the strong, who are more likely to be healthy and less likely to have dependents – two things that reduce the attractiveness. a good package of benefits.

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