Construction labor produces employment ripple effects

February 22, 2013

As new construction slowly comes back to Phoenix, its shaking up the Valley's labor needs. Contractors are scrambling to recruit workers, and that's creating a ripple effect in other sectors. KJZZ's Jude Joffe-Block reports.

JUDE JOFFE-BLOCK: Seth Tucker is the general manager at Superstition Springs Golf Club. He's having an unexpected problem. After golf courses suffered during the recession, business is finally good again, and Tucker wants to hire three more maintenance workers. But he is struggling to fill those slots and hold on to his work crew.

SETH TUCKER: We know construction is coming back, they are able to go out and get that job that pays them $2-$3 an hour more than what they are making now.

JOFFE-BLOCK: Which is around $8.50 an hour for entry level maintenance at the golf course. Glenn Hamer of the local Chamber of Commerce says a potential labor shortage in Arizona as the economy comes back is a real concern.

GLENN HAMER: This is one reason why it is vitally important that we finally get an immigration reform plan done in the United States congress that deals with real workforce needs.

JOFFE-BLOCK: Hamer says in the coming days dozens of Arizona business leaders will be presenting a letter of support to Senators McCain and Flake for their leadership on a comprehensive plan that would include additional visas for immigrant workers.

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