• @[email protected]
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    503 months ago

    Shame there aren’t billions in real estate profits that could be used to attract workers with higher wages.

    There isn’t a labour shortage, there are more people working than ever, there is a demand shortage - the same demand that is saying the supply is the problem.

    If you want to get workers you have to pay them competitively (in relation to what other companies are offering). I work in an office but if someone offers me twice the salary I would go in construction.

    Saying there is a shortage of labour is like going to the store full of bread, demanding to buy the bread at 10% the asking price & when they won’t sell it to you at that price complain there is a huge bread shortage … as you stand in the middle of a huge stock of bread (and with enough money in your pocket to easily afford the asking price).

    It’s just propaganda to not pay workers more & keep profits up. There is no labour shortage.

    • @[email protected]
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      43 months ago

      “There are more people working than ever before” that is exactly what economists mean when they say there is a labor shortage, there are not many unemployed people. Higher wages alone won’t change that. It mostly just shifts around who is employed by whom. To actually build a larger work force you need not only higher wages, but making it easier for those who don’t work to do so like young people and those currently residing in other countries.

      • jadero
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        63 months ago

        How many people are there working shit jobs, gig jobs, multiple jobs, and scrambling for shifts because they are desperate to get enough for food and shelter? How many of those would drop it all in favour of a proper full-time job in construction (or any other actually productive job) that gave them enough money and time to live a proper life that included families, hobbies, retirement plans/savings, and vacations?

        Most of that kind of employment only exists because someone has found a way to exploit the desperate even as they keep them on the breadlines (the old name for food banks). Those kinds of jobs shouldn’t even be counted as employment, because they are artifacts of disastrously few real jobs. In fact, I’d like to see a new statistic: a person is counted as fully employed if they are in school full time, retired, or employed full time at a single employer. If the business community insists on aggregating partial employment into “full time equivalent” for their statistics, then we can aggregate partial employment into “unemployment equivalent” for inclusion in our statistics.

        How many of those in our ever expanding homeless camps are there (and, lord help me, not even counted as unemployed) because nobody will pay them an actual living wage?

        Nobody will ever convince me that workers are demanding to use their own cars to deliver food or to put together a simulation of full employment by juggling shifts at multiple employers.

        Nobody will ever convince me that there is an actual demand for the numbers of fast food and fast fashion outlets that exist. Most of them would disappear overnight, never to be missed, if someone decided to start building the housing and public transit and green energy systems we need at the pace they need to be built.

        It’s obvious to anyone who cares to look that there is plenty of money available, but it’s being extracted from the system by the business and billionaire classes instead of allowed to circulate.

          • jadero
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            13 months ago

            Making nearly disposable clothes in short runs at high volume. Originally and still primarily an online phenomenon of quick knock-offs of “runway” designs, it is finding its way into retail outlets and can actually drive novelty (trends) separate from the normal fashion creation pipeline.

            Here is a pretty good article that includes a brief history: https://www.cnn.com/style/what-is-fast-fashion-sustainable-fashion/index.html

            You can’t find these outlets on every street corner the way you can fast food, but pretty much every mall, department store, and supermarket will have something that comes out of the fast fashion pipeline.

            In addition (my opinion), it seems to be driving a boom in clothing stores, most which seem to be speeding up their style turnover. It seems to me that the underlying model is bleeding over to other retail sectors like furniture.

            Like fast food, it’s more about artificially created demand than true consumer demand. More and more, I see that what’s for sale is what someone wants you to buy rather than things you actively seek out.

    • @[email protected]
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      33 months ago

      Shame there aren’t billions in real estate profits that could be used to attract workers with higher wages.

      There isn’t a labour shortage, there are more people working than ever, there is a demand shortage - the same demand that is saying the supply is the problem.

      LOUDER, for the Parasite-Class owners in the back who refuse to pay more because it would cut into their obscene profit margins. Maybe they should put off that yacht or pristine-condition pavement princess or $10m mansion up on the hill?

  • @ChocoboRocket
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    3 months ago

    Shame we never considered bringing in construction workers as we process over a million new immigrants a year.

    Edit

    I’ll provide some links since I am coming off as racist/anti immigrant

    here’s a gov of Canada link to a pilot program for construction immigration strategies

    Another article

    “Despite this program’s utility, it excludes applicants with experience as construction trades helpers and labourers, which is one of the top two residential construction occupations most in need of workers.”

    Both of these articles are from the worst priced housing markets (BC and Toronto) and both talk about temporary pilot programs/completely ignored labor skills resulting in continued construction labor shortages, which should be nearly impossible when bringing in a million people with favorable entry to construction workers.

    I’m on mobile and I don’t really feel like pumping out tons of articles to prove everything I say, but essentially the marketing on immigration has been “we’re bringing homebuilders to Canada to relieve the housing crush” and the reality is “we’re using immigration to prop up housing and suppress wages, with little actual home builders coming in who then require training anyhow.”

    Another comment mentioned that it’s hard to ensure training and knowledge/understanding of trade skills, and language barriers can prevent people with construction experience from being able to work. So instead of enticing Canadians to get educated in jobs we need, we import them and make them take training anyhow to keep wages down.

    I’m not trying to say immigration is bad, but what’s happening in Canada is in reality far far away from the wave of homebuilding immigrants that was promised

      • @[email protected]
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        103 months ago

        But isn’t an awful lot of construction work have a foundation of (relatively) unskilled labor? I mean, you don’t just magically learn how to plumb, you apprentice for it.

        From my own anecdotal experience in a high immigration and rapidly expanding urban area in the US, lots of unskilled workers become skilled here. They then start their own roofing, plumbing, waste, whatever subcontracting businesses, which largely employ unskilled immigrant workers. And the cycle continues. But these employers are always hungry for workers.

        It also leads to a crazy cycle of exploitative subcontracting and cash based employment, which means bad labor protection and tax avoidance by everybody involved (including large land developers who employ all these little subcontractors). But I digress. And I would hope that Canadian labor protection is a bit more robust, but I’m not sure.

        The point I’m trying to make is that unskilled labor is often very very important, and has historically been at the helm of large entrepreneurial classes, at least in North America and Europe. I’m not so sure about how this works in Asian economies, and I think this doesn’t hold true in places like the Middle East where labor rights are absolutely atrocious.

      • @[email protected]
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        53 months ago

        Immigrants are under-represented in the building trades. Although immigrants make up 23 per cent of the Canadian labour market, they comprise only about 18 per cent of workers in the construction industry.

        sauce

        If we’re prioritizing these skills, it doesn’t seem to be reflected in the labour market.

        • Victor Villas
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          3 months ago

          If we’re prioritizing these skills, it doesn’t seem to be reflected in the labour market.

          How do you know, though? To say so shouldn’t we compare that statistic before/after the addition of immigration programs for trades? Also, the more useful statistic should be the absolute numbers of workers, no? Otherwise you’ll might obfuscate the fact that immigration program is working with other concurrent effects (like getting more Canadian trades-people workers as well via immigration from other provinces or investing in more trades-oriented education and career befits etc)

          • @[email protected]
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            13 months ago

            I’ve been feeling the housing crisis for the past few years, and I’ve been listening to podcasts and reading articles about the headwinds construction is facing. Canada has an aging, shrinking construction sector. There aren’t enough skilled or unskilled labourers to keep up with demand.

            The consensus is that trend will continue. I haven’t heard commentators say that immigration is revitalizing the sector. I haven’t heard anything about significant policy changes that will attract out prioritize immigrant construction workers.

            The closest was an announcement about a path to citizenship for people working construction illegally. But that only applies to people who are already here, so I don’t think it really counts.

            There was a pre-budget announcement a week or two ago saying that the feds would be jiggling the admission criteria to attract construction workers. I hope it works. It makes sense to try something new.

            • @[email protected]
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              23 months ago

              Do any of those sources you’ve been following call out that there are empty homes owned by investors and other types of landlords because it’s cheaper to let it sit empty than lower rent? There are no homeless families waiting for housing to be built?

              Our housing crisis is artificial because Canada turned real estate into a retirement plan

            • Victor Villas
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              3 months ago

              So all that you have is the an absence of evidence whether the trades-focused immigration program is having an effect or not… “Revitalizing” was not the initial thesis.

    • @[email protected]
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      83 months ago

      It’s not like you can just grab a certified plumber from Keyna and they can start here in Canada the next day. There’s a ton of location specific information required to be a plumber. Plumbers for example are licensed provincially here, you can’t even just move from Ontario to BC and start the next day. You require re-certification which takes a lot of time and costs money. That’s assuming their english is good enough to even take the recertification classes and apprenticeship.

      Compared to a programmer, who has zero requirement to re-train, it’s more difficult.

    • @[email protected]
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      43 months ago

      Its almost like they should just remove migration restrictions and allow people to move freely instead of politicians playing politics to get the votes of stupid old people.

      • @Ultragigagigantic
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        73 months ago

        I agree. Nation states shouldn’t exist, along side their imaginary borders.

  • @[email protected]
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    73 months ago

    A thought experiment for the industry:

    If you paid workers $150,000, would you still have a shortage?

    If the answer is no, then there really is no “shortage”, is there?

    • Nik282000
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      63 months ago

      I got out of construction and into industrial work because every site was 6 days a week and most of them were 10 hour days. Construction work is a waste of a life in Canada.

      • @[email protected]
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        43 months ago

        Not to mention the toll it takes on your body. I know so many former construction workers who now have life-long, “wear and tear” injuries in their 40s and 50s, which makes it hard for them to find work without moving to an entirely different industry.

        • Nik282000
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          43 months ago

          After 6 years my knees were fucked, by 25 I couldn’t kneel down for more than 5 min without feeling it for days afterwards. I’ve been out of construction now for over 10 years now they aren’t any better but at least they haven’t got worse.

  • @Ultragigagigantic
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    3 months ago

    The for profit house building industry should NOT be allowed to be involved with the solution to the housing crisis. They created this mess to benefit from it, and should be not involved any longer.

  • @[email protected]
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    63 months ago

    Look at all those closely-packed kindling homes. This is the most ineffective and expensive layout. But, that’ll all change when the guy down the lane leaves a candle burning.