Dr. Samia Islam
Boise is experiencing high rates of construction development, land use and resource consumption. The skilled labor required to fill positions in real estate and commercial development are therefore increasingly in demand. Our research will determine if wage inflation trends correlate with demand for skilled workers as the labor shortage worsens, growth accelerates and resources (lumber) become more scarce. We will focus on the construction and extraction industries and examine data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho Department of Labor and local construction firms in Boise. We will also research the reasons for the labor shortage by examining trends in the push for a college degree from local high schools based on state policies. For example, we will look into the Idaho Department of Labor's emphasis and investment in vocational programs, pushing workers towards skilled positions. As more highschool graduates are taught that a four year degree is their only avenue for success, the proportion of students entering vocational programs may be dwindling. We expect to find wage inflation for skilled laborers in the construction sector as a way to compete for workers due to the labor shortage.
Flournoy, Joy; Simmons, James; Stearns, Sarah; Melendez, Adriana; and Covey, Meredith, "Wage Inflation and Demand for Skilled Labor Positions: A Closer Look at Boise's Construction Industry" (2021). 2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 137.