Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Jacob Vigdor Comments on Seattle’s Entry-Level Workforce Shortage for The Seattle Times

Posted: 5/29/2019 (CSDE Research)

The real story behind Seattle’s labor shortage, CSDE Affiliate and Professor at the Evans School Jacob Vigdor weighs in, “all boils down to what happens to housing.” This Monday, The Seattle Times published a story on the city’s high demand for entry-level workforce and employers’ difficulty in filling in positions such as in-home care providers. In spite of recent wage hikes and attractive benefits, Seattle is simply too expensive for entry-level workers. According to Vigdor, the city’s earlier booms labor shortages were less severe because lower-skill workers from outside the area could more easily move to town and fill the vacancies. By contrast, today’s boom appeals disproportionately to higher-skill newcomers who can afford the housing costs, and whose earnings keep the costs so high.


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