Labor shortages everywhere- stimulus

2,609 Views | 62 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BaylorOkie
BaylorGuy314
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I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.
whitetrash
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I'm a banker. We're getting 2-3 people a day coming in asking to deposit or cash a $1400 stimulus check received by a relative who is unable to deposit the check personally. Because the relative is incarcerated.
RD2WINAGNBEAR86
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whitetrash said:

I'm a banker. We're getting 2-3 people a day coming in asking to deposit or cash a $1400 stimulus check received by a relative who is unable to deposit the check personally. Because the relative is incarcerated.
Surely you didn't make these people show a picture ID did you? The would be blatant stimulus check suppression!
"Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life."
Canada2017
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BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .

BaylorGuy314
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Canada2017 said:

BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .


Not sure where you are going with this but construction is generally heavily Hispanic (in Texas, at least). Still, my mason, framer, and concrete guy are all Hispanic with mostly-Hispanic crews and they are having significant issues.

Also, I hate to say this but a significant portion of the labor force in residential construction is not legal. They may have a SSN but they ain't legal. Just being real because I see it everyday.
4th and Inches
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RD2WINAGNBEAR86 said:

whitetrash said:

I'm a banker. We're getting 2-3 people a day coming in asking to deposit or cash a $1400 stimulus check received by a relative who is unable to deposit the check personally. Because the relative is incarcerated.
Surely you didn't make these people show a picture ID did you? The would be blatant stimulus check suppression!
midgett
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Needed to get to the airport at 4 AM last week. Luckily I checked Uber and Lyft prices early evening before. Typically it's about $25-30. I was quoted $75.

Checked with a friend who does Uber on the side. Said that drivers could apply for loans. If they showed their income dropped over 25%, they didn't have to pay back. So lots of drivers are sitting out.

Also warned me that even with the quote, Uber doesn't notify a driver until later. So there may not be one available or they could oversleep or just not want the job.

Since it was to another country we couldn't take chances. Did old school taxi who was prompt as can be.

Welfare programs have unintended consequences.
Feel The Floyd
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Lost my entire team due to a reduction in force last year. One of my employees had a job lined up at an insurance agency immediately doing clerical work but was going to wait to start until her unemployment benefits ran out because the benefits were greater than what the agent was offering as a base wage.
Coke Bear
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I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
Buddha Bear
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Top unemployment insurance pays $2000 per month + $300 per week I believe. That's roughly $3200 per month, not sure about any taxes that need to be paid out of it. So about $38,000 per year ($18.50 per hour). What I've outlined above is maximum unemployement benefits. Waiters and other menial jobs would be getting about $2000 to $2500 per month.

How much are these builders paying their workers? I guess they'd need to pay more than $14 per hour to beat the stimulus.

I agree that the $300 per month in additional benefits goes a step too far if they keep on dishing it out. Maybe was initially needed, but not anymore.

I also feel sorry for anyone making less than $14 per hour this day in age. I made $8.75 per hour as a bank teller back in college (1998). That equals $14.25 today. Do intro level positions like that pay that much now? My first guess is that they don't. Certainly an intro mason, concrete guy or framer should be making that much now or more.

Buddha Bear
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Coke Bear said:

I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
Thanks, that answers my last post. Sounds like day laborers do make more than I expected.
4th and Inches
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Coke Bear said:

I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
with the price of a sheet of 3/4" plywood at 65 a sheet and a 2x4 wall stud at 7.00 a board, how long can we afford to build houses. Concrete price went up, rebar went up, lumber went way up...

Yesterday, lowes in Waco had zero boxes of drywall compound. Last week, waco home depot had no 1/2" 4x8 sheets of drywall. Materials are getting harder to come by as well as prices have gone way up.

Insurance replacement values and premiums are gonna go up, house values and taxes on those values are gonna go up.
90sBear
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4th and Inches said:

Coke Bear said:

I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
with the price of a sheet of 3/4" plywood at 65 a sheet and a 2x4 wall stud at 7.00 a board, how long can we afford to build houses. Concrete price went up, rebar went up, lumber went way up...

Yesterday, lowes in Waco had zero boxes of drywall compound. Last week, waco home depot had no 1/2" 4x8 sheets of drywall. Materials are getting harder to come by as well as prices have gone way up.

Insurance replacement values and premiums are gonna go up, house values and taxes on those values are gonna go up.
Currently new construction homes are still doing well due to low interest rates on mortgages.
Porteroso
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There are 2 problems. Skilled workers don't get paid enough, to the point that in a pandemic they make more money sitting at home, getting stimulus. The second problem is that stimulus is horribly untargeted, and while it may inject much needed cash into the economy, causing labor shortages is not what lawmakers intended.

Fixing either problem would make the other moot, but government isn't getting less lazy anytime soon, and employers will always try to max their own profit, pay workers as little as they can get away with.

If I laid brick, and could get more money resting at home, I'd for sure go home, and do things I really wanted to. Life is short. Those guys break their backs working to build us homes, and we try to make sure they're paid next to nothing. Shane on us.
4th and Inches
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90sBear said:

4th and Inches said:

Coke Bear said:

I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
with the price of a sheet of 3/4" plywood at 65 a sheet and a 2x4 wall stud at 7.00 a board, how long can we afford to build houses. Concrete price went up, rebar went up, lumber went way up...

Yesterday, lowes in Waco had zero boxes of drywall compound. Last week, waco home depot had no 1/2" 4x8 sheets of drywall. Materials are getting harder to come by as well as prices have gone way up.

Insurance replacement values and premiums are gonna go up, house values and taxes on those values are gonna go up.
Currently new construction homes are still doing well due to low interest rates on mortgages.
I know a couple of builders who are slowing the process of starting new construction homes and focusing on their existing projects already in the process because of material acquisition and cost issues.
redfish961
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I'm a small remodeling company and I only have 9 guys, but they all make between $16 - $22 per hour. They are all very skilled and can handle many trades in a professional manner.

Skilled labor is hard to find in Waco, so when you can find them, you have to pay them decent to keep them.

Other than a brief slow down last year, nothing really changed for us.

Material prices have gotten silly and as stated above are relatively scant at times.

For the past 60 days, I've had to go to both Home Depots in Waco to get what I need. Even that doesn't work sometimes. Basically sucks an hour a day away.

My guys were always employed, so unemployment wasn't an issue.
90sBear
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4th and Inches said:

90sBear said:

4th and Inches said:

Coke Bear said:

I was told that the Taco Bell in China Spring has only been open about 5 days in two weeks because they can't get anyone to work.

Day labor for concrete workers around $200/day in central Texas.

Maybe we do need oil to go up, cause significant inflation, and get people back to work.
with the price of a sheet of 3/4" plywood at 65 a sheet and a 2x4 wall stud at 7.00 a board, how long can we afford to build houses. Concrete price went up, rebar went up, lumber went way up...

Yesterday, lowes in Waco had zero boxes of drywall compound. Last week, waco home depot had no 1/2" 4x8 sheets of drywall. Materials are getting harder to come by as well as prices have gone way up.

Insurance replacement values and premiums are gonna go up, house values and taxes on those values are gonna go up.
Currently new construction homes are still doing well due to low interest rates on mortgages.
I know a couple of builders who are slowing the process of starting new construction homes and focusing on their existing projects already in the process because of material acquisition and cost issues.
I absolutely believe that. Some builders I have spoken with have said they have poured slabs sitting there because they can't get the wood for framing. Also heard the same thing already mentioned here - work crews sitting at home collecting their stimulus check.

Some of the home buyers who are close to closing are upset that some of their items aren't available due to supply issues and I tell them they should be happy they already past the framing stage and are instead just waiting on hardware, fancy lighting fixtures, etc.
BaylorGuy314
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Buddha Bear said:


How much are these builders paying their workers? I guess they'd need to pay more than $14 per hour to beat the stimulus.


I'm a builder so I can answer this question. It's not so much what I'm paying my sub. I obviously pay a sub and he pays his own guys who make a varying amount of money.


Real world example -

I may pay my framer $4.50/slab ft to frame a basic house. That's about $13,500 for a 3000sf slab (usually low 2000sf living).

Our frame jobs on a typical house are intentionally designed to be simpler (than, say, a 4000sf highly custom house). With 5-6 guys on the job that's about 10 full days on the job. So about 400-480 man hours. Just call it 500 to be safe.

If he's paying his guys an average of $20/hour then that's a cost to the sub of about $9,600 in labor + taxes. Call it $10,500. Framers provide zero materials but they do supply their own tools. In short, the sub is making about $13,500 gross less $10,500 in labor = $3000 profit in for approximately 10 days work. He will have followup calls for some items but those are usually quick and last an hour or two and take 1-2 guys. Just say he's making $2K, conservatively per house. For us, a crew can do 2 houses a month easily so if he's got 2-3 crews of guys, he could be making $100-150K/year in the framing business with about 10-15 guys. Bigger framing operations can make more, obviously but then there is increased cost to manage more guys and more jobs.

Now, he may pay $20/hr on average for his guys but some of them may be making $15/hour and others may be making $25/hour. The guys making $15/hour are usually very inexperienced and just doing random things that help the more skilled guys work more quickly. Ie, "I need QTY10 2x4s cut to this length." They just stay on the ground and make cuts or do little things while the more experienced guys are actually doing the more detailed work.

Nowadays, those less skilled guys who are making less money aren't showing up because they are only making $15/hour. Even if they are making less on unemployment (say, $2000/mo instead of $2400/mo @$15/hr), they don't have to do anything so they'll take the $400 wage cut to do nothing. The sub, meanwhile, only has his guys making $25/hour in the field. It's taking them longer to build a house because of less labor and he's paying an average of $25/hour instead of $20/hour before. So all of a sudden, he needs to make several thousand more on the house to protect his profit margin and it's taking him longer to do the work. That slower build time plus additional labor cost gets passed onto the builder. We then absorb it, make less on the house but will definitely include that projected cost in the next house we build. I basically built two houses in the last few months for free because I had so many cost increases (labor and materials) that I had to absorb.

Concrete and masons are the same way - you have your more experienced guys but you also have guys that are making $15/hour that just stand around and mix mortar and push a wheel barrow to where it's needed so the more experienced guys can keep going.

These changes may only be $1-2/sf difference in our cost but that's only one trade (and there are dozens per house in construction). It also doesn't include material cost increases which are skyrocketing right now for various reasons, which are independent of government policy. All of a sudden, a house is costing us $20+/sf more and on a 2000sf house, that equates to $40,000+ increased cost (and a longer build time).

Rates are low and resale rates are high because inventory is low so people are still buying (since they can cash out of their houses at more than projected and absorb the price increases when combined with low rates) but that can only go on for so long.


BaylorOkie
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This is all 100% accurate, as a home builder I agree with all of this.

I do mostly high-end custom homes, $600,000 to well over $1M. I'm seeing all of this same stuff.

I am getting ready to frame a home about 4800 square feet. When we first worked through the plans and contract back in December, the lumber takeoff told us it would be approximately $67,000. Last week I had them run that same takeoff through current pricing and it's at $94,000. Will be over $100,000 when we actually frame in May and June.

And that's if I can find a framing contractor that can get it done that quickly. Last fall I framed a home about 4,700 square feet and the labor was $23,000. Right now I'm framing a very similar home that is 4000 square feet and I am paying $31,000. And if I don't pay that they will move right on down the road to the next one. There is way more work than these guys can handle.
RD2WINAGNBEAR86
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https://www.yahoo.com/news/diapers-cereal-yes-toilet-paper-120645685.html

Here we go. Too many dollars chasing too few goods.
"Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life."
riflebear
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Fat Daddy
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From a guy that owns a restaurant in Branson...


Rawhide
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riflebear said:


If they're offering $21 an hour to wash dishes, it doesn't sound like they need to raise minimum wage
Florda_mike
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I'm a commercial roofing contractor and have been going gangbusters for nearly 3 years after increasing but sporadic work during Obama depression

Why would government offer free money now, when economy is so hot and everyone is employed that's worth anything at all?

Government wants to kill the economy and small business, it should be obvious to all of you, isn't it?

Material is getting unaffordable and what to do? I'm writing contracts good 1-3 days then, immediately after approval, ordering material at locked in bid pricing. Protect yourself with a good lawyer helping

Contract approval after price increase? Bid includes this stipulation, if I can show proof of increase then contract increases and customer/contractor can back out if they won't pay

Government is trying to kill small business and probably will to get their socialism but we do have warriors hanging on fighting for us all. Find them, back them and get involved at all levels yourself

Us entrepreneurs are at war vs our government at all levels. Wake up, get active and root those against you out at all levels!

We must be victorious

Jesus didn't turn other cheek! That's bull***** Jesus was a fighting outspoken warrior that was willing to go all the way to death for us!!! But then he fought back returning giving us everlasting hope. Be like Jesus and fight this tyranny now. How far will you go to root out this obvious evil.
jupiter
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The critical role of paid sick leave in the COVID-19 health and labour market crisis


https://voxeu.org/article/paid-sick-leave-during-covid-19-health-and-labour-market-crisis
jupiter
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whiterock
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What do we expect when we have such massive government intervention in the economy?

Central Economic Planning Doesn't Work.

How quickly we forget.
HuMcK
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Fat Daddy said:

From a guy that owns a restaurant in Branson...




I'm hoping it was probably unintentional, but the line about "we not only offer pay but also discounts and on occasion gift cards" can't be very reassuring to potential hires. People simply don't want to bust their ass and still make so little that they have to rely on discounts and gift cards to eat at their own restaurant.
jupiter
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ImwithBU
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Canada2017 said:

BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .




Bull***** You have to fluent in English no way they all are legal. I don't have a problem with because they are doing jobs others don't want and making a legal living. But stop with the BS about them all being legal. Your guy might not be hiring them but he also isn't keeping one of the legal guys from bringing along his cousin or good friend who undocumented
jupiter
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Canada2017
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ImwithBU said:

Canada2017 said:

BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .




Bull***** You have to fluent in English no way they all are legal. I don't have a problem with because they are doing jobs others don't want and making a legal living. But stop with the BS about them all being legal. Your guy might not be hiring them but he also isn't keeping one of the legal guys from bringing along his cousin or good friend who undocumented
Every worker I've talked to...in English...responded in English .

Out of hundreds of guys swarming over a construction site of this size.......could a few of them be illegal.......sure its a numbers game.

Is it intent of the general contractor to hire only legal workers ? Sure seems that way......especially with the large Hispanic community nearby in Greeley to draw from .

And I've know many legal Americans who were not fluent in English, including almost every man on the El Paso farm.
Buddha Bear
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Canada2017 said:

ImwithBU said:

Canada2017 said:

BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .




Bull***** You have to fluent in English no way they all are legal. I don't have a problem with because they are doing jobs others don't want and making a legal living. But stop with the BS about them all being legal. Your guy might not be hiring them but he also isn't keeping one of the legal guys from bringing along his cousin or good friend who undocumented
Every worker I've talked to...in English...responded in English .

Out of hundreds of guys swarming over a construction site of this size.......could a few of them be illegal.......sure its a numbers game.

Is it intent of the general contractor to hire only legal workers ? Sure seems that way......especially with the large Hispanic community nearby in Greeley to draw from .

And I've know many legal Americans who were not fluent in English, including almost every man on the El Paso farm.

You're right. I know a woman who's father is a legal immigrant with a US passport that has lived in Oregon for 35 years. Nicest guy ever, but can hardly speak any English. He's somehow found a way to live in his Mexican community bubble and make a damn good living as an entreprenuer in the agriculture sector. At least $100k per year on his own.
nein51
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In the retail world those are usually called SPIFF. Sort of little bonuses for performance. At least that's how I read it.
whiterock
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Buddha Bear said:

Canada2017 said:

ImwithBU said:

Canada2017 said:

BaylorGuy314 said:

I work in residential construction.

Our masons can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our concrete guy can't get people to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our framers can't get guys to show up to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Several of our suppliers are relaying that there are shipping delays as UPS is limiting freight pickups. They don't have enough drivers because they are making more money sitting at home.

I've talked to two restaurateurs in Waco and both said they are significantly short-staffed because they can't get people to work because they are making more money sitting at home.

Our appliance provider is limiting deliveries because they have only one delivery crew (instead of their typical 3) because the others make more money sitting at home.

A local staffing office told me they literally have zero candidates looking for a job. Zero. Businesses are calling looking for help and they don't have a single person on their lists because there is no motivation to work.


I'm all for helping people bridge the gap but this jobless aid/stimulus is not at all going as intended.

We closed on a rental house yesterday....new construction .

The contractor builds on a huge scale. On any given day he has a least 50 houses going up.

The labor force is at least 80% Hispani ( all legal ) .




Bull***** You have to fluent in English no way they all are legal. I don't have a problem with because they are doing jobs others don't want and making a legal living. But stop with the BS about them all being legal. Your guy might not be hiring them but he also isn't keeping one of the legal guys from bringing along his cousin or good friend who undocumented
Every worker I've talked to...in English...responded in English .

Out of hundreds of guys swarming over a construction site of this size.......could a few of them be illegal.......sure its a numbers game.

Is it intent of the general contractor to hire only legal workers ? Sure seems that way......especially with the large Hispanic community nearby in Greeley to draw from .

And I've know many legal Americans who were not fluent in English, including almost every man on the El Paso farm.

You're right. I know a woman who's father is a legal immigrant with a US passport that has lived in Oregon for 35 years. Nicest guy ever, but can hardly speak any English. He's somehow found a way to live in his Mexican community bubble and make a damn good living as an entreprenuer in the agriculture sector. At least $100k per year on his own.
The fella that replaced me as weekend farm labor when I went off to BU spoke pretty good english at the time. Today, he has his own business, still helps out on the farm when I need it. When it comes to trust & favors & helping out & such....we're family.. And his english really sucks. He understands it, but spoken communication is almost unintelligible. He and I manage, because we managed for decades. My wife just chuckles when she listens to us communicate, a painful patois of bad english and bad spanish. I'm pretty sure the deterioration in fluency is because 40 years ago he didn't have a choice - he had to speak english or he wasn't going to make it here. Today, thanks to immigration (legal and not) the most important aspects of his life are full of native spanish speakers....family, friends, the tire shop, the feed store, etc..... He can go days without ever HAVING to speak english.
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