August 28, 2018
There is a huge shortage of low-skill labor in the US economy right now.
I was talking to some hotel operators in Monterrey last week and they wouldn't stop complaining about how difficult it's become to hire for minimum-wage work. Particularly in food and beverage, they're getting outbid by chains and corporate cafeterias, losing battles for $15-17/hr labor against competition willing to pay $25/hr or more.
I heard the same story doing user research for a product: a moving company in Texas can't stay staffed. Construction is suffering, too, and it seems every day I'm seeing more "help wanted" signs in restaurant windows.
I'm not sure what's causing this, but I'm seeing it firsthand. It seems inevitable inflation is heading up, especially in industries that use a lot of labor (construction, health services, retail).
Either that, or we're going to see a lot more robots.