Maryland’s Labor Shortage May Mean Lack of Skilled Workers for Key Bridge Rebuild

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Despite Maryland’s low unemployment rates, employers are struggling to fill job vacancies and the workforce’s blue-collar sector is especially stressed. Current job seekers lack the specialized skills demanded by the market, which could make it challenging to find qualified local workers for the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to economists. Maryland’s labor force participation rate has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels — hovering at 65.3 percent as of October 2023, down from 69.3 percent in December 2019.

The problem at hand: Maryland’s workforce woes are concerning to our future economic competitiveness and infrastructure needs. The state’s population is aging and our pool and competent workers is shrinking as skilled labor flees to more business and personal finance-friendly states to the South.

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