Do We Really Have a “Labor Shortage” in the U.S., or Are We Manufacturing One?
It seems like there are three kinds of jobs in America: Those that Americans won’t do, those that Americans can’t do, and those that there aren’t enough Americans to do.Perpetually high on the list of jobs for which there is a claimed shortage of workers is nursing. In one of the countless news reports about the “acute shortage” of nurses in the United States, a 2016 Atlantic article notes, “America’s 3 million nurses make up the largest segment of the health-care workforce in the U.S., and nursing is currently one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. Despite that growth, demand is outpacing supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022.”To fill this so-called void, American health care institutions have been turning to foreign nurses. About 15 percent of nurses currently work in the U.S. are foreign born, and the health care industry is constantly clamoring for more.So, if we are expecting 1.2 million vacancies in the coming years, there must be a good reason. Is it because:
- There aren’t enough Americans who are educationally qualified to enter nursing programs?
- There aren’t enough qualified Americans who want to be nurses?
- Eager, qualified nursing school applicants are being turned away in droves?
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