Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New proposed sheet metal apprenticehip rules fail efficiency test

BHI Executive Director David G. Tuerck presented testimony before the state's Board of Examiners for Sheet Metal Workers. The board is considering a proposal that will increase the ratio of three (3) sheet metal workers to one (1) apprentice. Does this make economic sense?

At a hearing of the board in Springfield, BHI argued:
These changes are, by any account, a step in the wrong direction. The national unemployment rate for construction workers currently stands at 19%. The prevailing wage law creates rigidities in construction wages that already make it impossible to relieve this problem by reducing labor costs for public projects. This new regulation will simply increase labor costs and thus further aggravate the current unemployment problem in construction.

The regulation will have adverse long-run effects as well. It effectively restricts labor supply for sheet metal workers at a time when experienced workers are reaching retirement age in greater numbers than before. By attempting to shift the composition of the workforce from younger to older workers, the regulation promises ultimately to invite labor scarcities and escalating labor costs.
Entire testimony is available at www.beaconhill.org.

1 comment:

TonyFernandez said...

I thought that we abandoned the guild system a long time ago. Why keep it around? Just to hinder competition? When has that ever been a good thing?


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