Television personality and “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe knows a thing or two about the American labor force.
Rowe appeared on FOX Business’ Varney and Co. recently and lamented the U.S. Labor Department’s report that 4.5 million Americans changed or quit their jobs last November. The staggering number of American workers on the move concerns him deeply.
He says that everyone will feel the effects of the depleted workforce.
“This is a conversation about our workforce, and the imbalanced nature of it, and the way that’s going to impact every single American who shares my addiction to smooth roads, indoor plumbing, affordable electricity and so forth,” he said.
Mike Rowe Discusses Impact of Record Job Openings
Rowe added that vital American industries stare down hiring hurdles each month. U.S. job openings hit 11 million in October – a near-record high.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Rowe continues. “I’ve heard from the energy industry, the flooring industry… the restaurant industry, the cable and broadband industry, they are all struggling with the same basic problem.”
This problem, he says, is making blue-collar positions attractive to potential employment candidates.
“That, interestingly, is one of the few things that we can control,” he says. “We need to explain to kids that working with your hands, learning a skill that’s in demand can still lead to prosperity.”
Rowe says the younger generation needs to learn that vocational opportunities can be fulfilling. He says that is a fight that American educators need to take up.
“It can’t be higher education, and everything else is some vocational consolation prize,” he says. “We need to set the table fairly. We need to do a better job globally of shining a light on [skilled labor] stories.”