Smith Looking To Fill Nearly 9,000 Jobs In Arizona

Rob and Lucinda Boyd with Sen. Steve Smith at the TSDLYB 8th Annual Backpack Giveaway [Photo from Facebook]

Senator Steve Smith wants to find out why thousands of highpaying jobs are going unfilled in Arizona and help Arizonans fill them.

There have been many recent reports about an Arizona real estate boom, but Smith is investigating why there is a labor scarcity in the construction industry, along with many other “blue collar” fields.

On Thursday, Smith discussed the situation and the work he is doing as chair of the Committee on Commerce and Public Safety on the James T. Harris radio show. According to Smith, the Committee is hoping to increase awareness of job areas with vast vacancies, and to find ways to connect job seekers with employers in need. To that end, Smith has scheduled a series of meetings “to discuss best practices and find solutions on how to get more workers into these high paying jobs.”

Recent data from the group Emsi indicates that Arizona job openings for electricians, plumbers, roofers, telecommunications installers and other similar trades have a shortage of around 9,000 positions, and that number is expected to grow. With the average salary around $45,000 a year, these are well paying jobs that are often attainable without a college degree, or in some cases, without a high school diploma.


  1. I’m in the electric field and am very familiar with the shortage of quality electricians. There are many issues causing this shortage. (1) The work is hard and hot – especially in the summer. (2) Yes, native USA youth have a high expectation for pay in this line of work. (3) Contracting in AZ is VERY competitive vs other states, leaving AZ contractors no choice but to pay help less (in general) than other state’s contractors, which means…(4) Electricians who truly are good help can easily find jobs in today’s good construction market in other states which pay much more.

    I ask you to consider this. $20.00 an hour is about the average wage for a lower skilled, but somewhat experienced electrician. $20 X 40 hours = $800 per week. That works out to $3200.00 per month, and $38,400.00 per year. Yes, that doesn’t include any better paying overtime, but neither does it include taxes, social insecurity, or insurance. Folks, that might be better pay than flipping burgers, but nobody will be well off at that pay. So IMHO, AZ will continue to have a “labor shortage” in SKILLED blue collar fields until AZ contractors start paying the wages those skills can obtain in Colorado, Texas, California, etc.

  2. I had the wifes car worked on the other day and spoke with the owner and asked where are the workers he used to have? He told me they were priced out of work and wanted bigger wages than minimum wage. At the same time they brought NO skills or job knowledge to the table. Said he could not afford to pay them to screw up a job and have to redo it afterwards. So he let all go and now its back to family workers only. Also said he could not again afford to take in a kid to teach as they also required minimum wage and as a small shop could not afford it along with the time to teach and watch the kids as they ‘worked’. Said it might be ok if there was a votech training program in the schools but alas there is not. I dont know when they will learn that not all want to go to colleges or really want to work. The fast food places are downsizing work forces, as are the retailers and small business. So I guess that the left push for cradle to grave gov’t dependency is setting in for real.

  3. A labor scarcity in Construction is a mystery? This labor force that expects $15/hr to flip Burgers will not want to do any real work. When Obama said he had all these shovel ready jobs, I laughed because I knew that someone needs to pick up that shovel first. I have been in construction all my life, and it was always the most difficult part of construction to find young workers who wanted to learn the trades. They felt they were entitled to higher wages just because it was hard work. They did not understand that the first job they had to qualify for was learning how to work. The cost of housing in the Denver area is skyrocketing partly because of the labor shortage there. President Trump alone understands the need to have apprentice programs. We have been duped to believe that any University Degree is more valuable and will pay off in the long run. The problem being is that most of those degrees are as worthless as the paper they are printed on. We will be doomed because of these educated, read indoctrinated, fools.

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