After multiple e-mails from readers over the past couple of months claiming that our constant referencing to the skilled-worker shortage is a disservice, I figured it’s best to come clean. They are right. It’s not a skilled-worker shortage; it’s a skilled-worker-that-will-work-for-lower-than-expected-pay shortage.
Well, that hardly rolls off the tongue.
Readers may react like The FABRICATOR is trying to keep this whole trend a secret, but that’s hardly the case. This trend of depressed wages for workers in the U.S. is no secret. Wage growth has yet to achieve 2008 levels, and if you want to get really depressed, consider that on an inflation-adjusted basis, wages peaked in 1973.
What about welding specifically? The FABRICATOR asked its readers this question in a May survey: “How much does your company pay entry-level welders per hour?” The responses from the 181 readers were enlightening:
- Less than $10—4%
That doesn’t look horrible considering it’s starting pay. Like any other job, you have to start at the bottom.