Weather Alerts

Too Many Jobs And Not Enough Workers- State Wide Worker Shortage

DES MOINES, Iowa--  Iowa has come under a national spotlight recently for our unique unemployment problem.

Earlier this month the wall street journal questioned how Iowa's unemployment rate could be so low, yet we still have so many job openings.

Iowa has the 6th lowest unemployment rate in the nation as of February.

However, even if all those people found jobs there would still be job openings in the state.

The manager at Liberty Ready Mix says recent legislation like the Future Ready Iowa Act could help bring in more qualified candidates.

But it's still difficult to find skilled workers in this specific trade.

Roland Sutherland has been driving concrete trucks more thirty years.

He's feeling the impact of working for an understaffed company, “it makes a longer day anywhere from 15-18-hour days we got to stay here until the work is done," Roland Sutherland said.

Right now, Liberty Ready Mix has enough employees to manage a fleet of 49 trucks and capacity is 54, “here are a shortage of drivers especially ready-mix drivers because it’s not just the regular truck you drive, it takes a little talent" Sutherland said.

Numbers from the Iowa Work Force Development show about 55,000 jobs are vacant state wide- ranging from construction, to bankers.

Nearly 48,000 people are unemployed that could take jobs, like the five that are open at Liberty Ready Mix, “if somebody told me they couldn’t find a job around here, I would find that hard to believe," Manager at Liberty Ready Mix Tony Lohner said.

You can make about $41,000 your first year as a driver, that jumps about $3,000 after your first year.

Which is well above the median income for Des Moines.