Serious Labor Shortage Ahead

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Ugg, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    The WSJ has a great article about the coming pilot shortage that US airlines are facing.

    PG&E, a California electricity and gas utility is also facing mass retirement of linemen and has started a program to recruit ex-military.

    It has been long known that NASA is facing the same problem with the Federal Government having even older employees.

    In the case of pilots, 65 is the mandatory age of retirement so there's no hoping for pilots staying on after most retire.

    So, does anyone else think that with the huge wave of retiring baby boomers coming up that the US labor market is going to get a much needed boost? Sure, some will continue working but many may choose a less stressful part time job. I've been convinced for sometime that the reason the US has lost its mojo is that many industries are weighted towards those nearing retirement. The risktakers in this world have traditionally been people in their 20s and 30s.

    I think it's very likely that the US will get a major boost in the next decade as the younger generation finally gets a chance to take the reins.

  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think things like this will help, but at the same time are there enough qualified Americans for these jobs, and if not are we willing to pay for education to train them. Education hasn't exactly been a big priority of our government for a while...
  3. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Locally. Education seems to have picked up more funding thanks to school bonds being passed by various districts. I noticed this while looking at election returns.

    Lets hope education gets the attention it deserves.
  4. Ugg thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    It wouldn't hurt if the nation's janitors and gardeners got a wage increase, but they're probably not going to benefit as much as all the professionals will.

    The continual pressure to devalue education over the last 20 years is going to hurt us all. The Republicans are going to be screaming bloody murder because wages are increasing too much but then they're the ones who have defunded education...
  5. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I am a scientist, but I have to say that in the West we have not trained enough engineers. Science is always going to be important, but unless we have the engineers to actually build, design and operate things we're going to be in a heap of hurt. For instance, I use analog electronics to amplify biological signals. The only people competent in analog electronics in the UK seem to have grey hair. Thus, I worry that once the baby boomer technocrats and engineers retire, they will be replaced with people who do not have the requisite technical skills and knowledge.
  6. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    For whatever reason, I thought the lack of science and engineering interest was mostly an American phenomenon. Guess I was wrong. I'm a clinical scientist, most of my coworkers are from abroad (Asia).
  7. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    and the airlines have only themselves to blame.

    new pilot wages have been in the toilet (literally) for a little over a decade so there has been no incentive for people to pursue that career path.

    military pilots have been doing what they can to STAY IN .... because wages are not where they used to be in commercial.

    and because of the mythical concept of 'seniority' (instead of qualifications) those military pilots would start at the bottom ........ yet again another incentive to NOT go commercial.

    Now some will say the market paid accordingly. Yes. But instead of building a long term plan that would avoid this shortage, that would avoid any potential 'necessity' of putting a 350hr pilot in command of 200 souls, and paying for qualified pilots all these years and building them accordingly (thereby creating their own steady 'supply') and avoiding potential litigation ...... litigation for what? doesn't matter, until tort reform occurs any litigation is fair game ............ they now have this pilot 'shortage'.

    And for anyone to see potential in a pilot career the airlines will have to up their base wages considerably.

    In the end the airlines have not only NOT saved money it will end up costing them MORE.
  8. AhmedFaisal, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  9. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Engineering schools tend to be faddish, too, and they can't exactly make people study analog when everybody thinks digital is where the action is. And when digital folks make more than analog folks, it is a tough sell. In the future, power engineering, RF, sensors, and so on will all be hiring, but, right now, analog is a black art engaged in by white-haired wizards.
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    There is/will be a labor shortage in some fields only because the cost and years of education necessary don't jive with what you get paid when you enter the field. If the airlines really want to get more pilots, they know what to do -- and so does every other industry suffering a so-called "labor shortage".
  11. edk99 macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2009
    I'm not understanding why the FAA increased the prior experience flying to 1,500 hours. Six times more then what it is. I really haven't heard about any issues with poorly trained pilots or airplanes crashing all over the place.

    Just wondering what the issue is that this requirement needed to be increased 6 fold. Just seems way overboard.


    Oh yeah RAISE prices. I just paid $400 for a ticket from Florida to Chicago in December. If tickets go any higher I'll drive and so will many others.
  12. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    The problem is certainly not a shortage of warm bodies. It's a shortage of education and incentives -- salaries currently incentivize intelligent, quantitatively- or technically-minded students to go into fields such as finance rather than science or engineering.
  13. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    Some good thoughts, but with the increased cost to companies from our Government there has been reports of decreasing labor in the near future. See Applebee's, etc.

    But with what you state above maybe this will even out.
  14. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    You know, I don't believe the CEOs of various companies that government regulations are actually hurting their businesses. If anything, I think that many CEOs are using this as a crutch to hide problems including declining sales, new competition, etc.

    Certainly, there are new costs, but considering that these costs are often across an industry—new fuel-efficiency regulations affect all automobile manufacturers for example—I'm increasingly distrustful that these are all that painful for a company to endure and some may even end up saving them money.

    There's been a messy reality in labor. Many companies have decreased the amount of people needed due to automation and efficiencies and American workers have increased their productivity enormously—although there's been a recent plateau.
  15. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    It was the reaction to the Colgan Buffalo crash. The victims families saw the minimum hours to be hired as a first officer to the airlines was to have a commercial pilots license and 250 total hours. Several factors though were ignored. Both the captain and FO had over 1,500 hours. Most regional airlines don't hire at 250 hours, but more like 500-700 hours. The crew was fatigued( along with the FO being sick, but didn't want to call in sick due to her needing the money since FO's are paid dirt) and it was the damn captain that crashed the plane. He confused the stick shaker with indications of a tail stall and initiated a tail stall recovery. When in fact the plane was experiencing a regular stall at the wings. So him doing the tail stall recovery made the stall even worse.

    Overall, I hate the new ATP rule. There is a proposed restricted ATP that would lower the total hours down to 1,000 hours which isn't so bad, but it's the smaller details that is bugging me. First, it requires 325 hours of cross country time. That is ridiculously high. Also, it requires 8 hours in a full motion simulator. That is expensive( looking at around $4,000) and it comes out of my pockets, not the airlines. But, the law didn't do enough when it comes to fatigue and commuting( our crap pay directly effects pilots commuting to their bases. If we are based out of NYC, think our $16,000/yr salary can support us living in NYC?)

    In the grand scheme of things, the massive retirement and the new ATP rule will help me out getting hired since there is a shortage. Also hoping with the increased demand for pilots, it raises our salaries to get people to want to fly for the airlines.
  16. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Baby boomers leaving the market doesn't mean more jobs. It likely means less jobs as corporations get rid of redundant positions and then we have millions of retired people trying to lounge it out in the economic turmoil and national debt that their generation caused.

    Its my hope that my generation grows some balls and pays for the spending they demand from the government and not leave the next generation with debt up to their eyeballs and a corrupt and broken political and infrastructure system.
  17. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I think we could stand some wage increases. :)
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Indeed but will they be real or just nominal? For those in demand, I thing they will be real, very real.
  19. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    /me does some quick math....
    -> just a bit over 1000Euro a month ???

    Some people make more cleaning toilets or cutting hedges !!
  20. quagmire, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012

    quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    True, but that is just our base salary working at the regionals as a FO. Pay increases significantly once you reach the majors. Southwest pays a 12 year Captain about $220/hr which is close to about $200K/year.

    Pilots starting out get paid dirt, but invest your life into it, it will eventually begin to pay a good salary.

    Also, not saying I'm happy with the dirt pay starting out. Base pay should be something along $40,000 a year. As another person was saying, who is going to be motivated to spend/take out college loans to go through college and pay all the money to get the required ratings to be an airline pilot just to make $20K/year starting out? Also add in the BS new ATP law, it will just further decrease the amount of pilots to be hired.
  21. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Bleh he could actually to make sense rather than simply channel anger through his iphone. The thread focused on an upcoming pilot shortage. We had post 9-11 paranoia surrounding airlines, rising fuel prices worldwide, and constant news surrounding the financial problems of major airlines for years. Things like that naturally dissuade people from pursuing such a career path. When salaries and job stability decline, it shouldn't be that big of a surprise. It'll even out eventually.

  22. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains

    Man. Now I get it why my dock-clock-radio thing upstairs is so lame. It has an analog volume dial but provides only a bunch of too-far-apart stepped changes.

    I remember reading quite a few years ago that engineering schools were starting to have trouble finding people whose brains handle concepts involving spatial relationships well. Part of it is a more passive experience of life, getting a two dimensional representation of three-dimensional objects too early in life.

    The schools used to gravitate towards farm-raised kids who had been handling wrenches and wrestling planks onto sawhorses since they were old enough to pick the stuff up. Now we hand them an iPad in infancy. But, passive-reactive experience of objects is no substitute for handling real things.

    Give your kid a small wooden block and a milk jug and watch him try to balance the block on the mouth of the jug. He'll get the job done but it takes some experimentation, during which time his brain is learning the fundamentals of sciences that older people have already codified into the books he might learn to read later on. He's a leg up if his brain gets a practical sense of how things work before it has to read and understand descriptions of natural laws that affect what he experiences. It's not the same to watch pictures of a process. It misleads the young brain to oversimplify almost everything that happens in three dimensions. Including my damned clock radio's volume, apparently.

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