A new study debunks the idea Iowa’s facing a big labor shortage. Governor Tom Vilsack and others have said the state faces a crisis in the coming decade, lacking nearly half a million workers. University of Iowa professor Peter Fisher crunched the numbers and says he found the shortage has been vastly overstated.The “State of Working Iowa” report from the Iowa Policy Project indicates Iowa will be about 125-thousand workers short in the next decade. He says there will be a labor shortage in this decade, but not one that is a crisis that requires “extraordinary measures.”Vilsack has suggested the labor shortage will be as high as 450-thousand, and his “Iowa 2010” group called for encouraging more immigrants to settle in Iowa to fill jobs. Fisher says that’s not necessarily misguided, but he says there’s no labor “crisis” to respond to. He says Iowa needs to avoid attracting immigrants that’re going to drive wages down at the low end of the spectrum. He says that’s some of the fear people have about immigration.Fisher’s analysis found Iowa’s low wage jobs have pay roughly equal to that in peer states, but pay for professionals — like computer programmers and nurses — rank every low. Registered nurses, in fact, are paid less in Iowa than in any other state.
You are here: / / New study says labor shortage fears are overblown