How does this compare to the labor situation in your state?

Labor shortages in Indiana:
School bus drivers
Nurses, doctors and other medical professionals
School counselors
Childcare workers

The likely causes:

A lack of access [to childcare], whether that’s not finding any open seats or not being able to afford them, has kept some parents at home — preventing them from working.

… people have simply decided to accept a lower standard of living. Perhaps during COVID-19, they lost their job and spent more time at home with their children and families. They realized they could live on less, and are now choosing a lower standard of living with a higher quality of life…

Hicks focused more on wages driving workforce availability and said Indiana’s average weekly wages for all employees is substantially lower than the national average by about a quarter. And that isn’t made up in the cost-of-living differential.

He said in the private sector businesses have had to increase wages to meet or exceed inflation. This is causing a recent national rebound, as evidenced by a decline in help wanted ads.

But Indiana’s wages have remained low: “Most businesses are not psychologically prepared for the wages they need to pay,” Hicks said.

Similarly, in the public sector, wages are the primary reason for a shortage. He said teachers are making less than they were in 2000 in inflation-adjusted terms. This is despite lawmakers putting more and more money into the system.

“Plenty of people want to teach but it pays so poorly it’s one of the least viable occupations today,” Hicks said.


That there is a shortage of lawyers comes as a surprise. Some say we have too many already. And law schools continue to pump out more every year.

The shortages in Missouri seem to be similar. I think we know teachers and medical workers found Covid stressful. Some retired early or took a break and are not eager to return. And higher work load for nurses makes it worse.

They do say the travelling nurses they had for a while is slowing a bit. That means an end to high pay for doing temp work out of town. As Covid fades some of those nurses return to their regular jobs.

Teachers are stressed by all the legal stuff dealing with what they teach and even books in the library or discuss in class. Critical Race Theory etc.

PBS Newshour had story last night that pastors are burning out under the stress caused by the impact of politics on churches. Vaccinations and wearing masks causes conflict. Not longer about saving souls. Fewer people enter training. Numbers are falling. I suppose along with declining birth rates. And especially in Evangelical churches.

Low pay is a major problem for many of these positions. Raising pay to more attractive levels will help.

Lack of child care keeps more parents at home. Work from home helps but as that goes away, more seek other opportunities.

Prison guards are in short supply. In Missouri the legislature is considering on site child care to help attract staff. They also are starting nursery care for babies born in prison.

911 calls can take long waits in St. Louis. They raised pay and now are much improved up to 80% response (improved from below 60%) but below 90% target.

Trash truck drivers are hard to find in St. Louis. Also transit bus drivers. But then we know the same drivers license can get you $50/hr at UPS. Its hard to compete with that. School bus drivers too.

Child care continues to be a problem. A low paying job that keeps people at home. You would think a young teacher with a new baby might be willing to take a job like that if it paid competitive rates with benefits. In Missouri we are talking of tax credits for those who invest in child care facilities. Maybe that will get major employers to commit. That should help them hire people. But mostly for preschoolers. Once they start school, it gets complicated. Or you need to be in the right school district with home and job.

And yes we do need more well trained immigrants to help with these problems.

Not an easy problem. But we hope progress is being made.


The “JCs” have been schooled in the McKinsey/MBA/Welch thought process that employees are a cost to be minimized.

Since race has returned to politics, first with dog whistles, then openly, the people who are willing to come here are not wanted due to their color of skin or religion.


I recently posted a book review on immigration law.

The original immigration law from 1924 had quotas for national origin and that baked in various aspects of racism. It sought to keep the racial mix of immigrants at that of the 1920 census. But that changed in 1965 under LBJ. That law favors those with family ties in the US with some allocations for skills needed.

Yes, racism is still out there but its more subtle. It is not part of the law any more.

The 1924 law, while blatantly racist in it’s quota setting mechanism, using as it’s base year, 1890, before immigrants from southern and eastern Europe constituted a significant part of the US population, as well as excluding all Asians, was an “enhancement” of the “Chinese Exclusion Act”. During WWII, a special carve-out was made for Chinese, as, for the moment, the Chinese were our allies.

That is “chain migration”. The xenophobes in the US have been demanding an end to chain migration, which accounts for the majority of legal immigration to the US.



I am absolutely against Childcare. The reason is different than what you might expect. Childcare is the parents’ job. Stop kidding parents about childcare by someone else.

I am for federally funded daycare.

It takes a special line of BS to ask poorer-paid workers to be everything in the world to someone else’s kids. Stop the crapping upon honest people. Especially when no funding is coming their way for years.

Parents grow up and take care of their children with no excuses.

Employers get a grip on people leaving work when their children need them. Do not hold parents late because you can not get your act together as an employer.

Most of all stop lying to parents. If you have a kid you are the childcare.

Not really. People got promoted. More Indian chiefs than Indians.


The difference between daycare and childcare can be debated. Might be semantics.

Shift workers probably want nightcare too.


It is not semantics. There are a lot of ideals heaped on, huge expectations of all the parenting being done by someone making minimum wage.

I think all agree the minimum wage part is a problem. You at least need better trained and better paid supervision. And with better pay, you can probably attract and retain better employees.

Ideally day care should be educational. That aspect benefits from those with profession credentials.

Making the economics work is the essence of the problem. Getting employers to offer child care as part of its benefits package is a plus. If you give employees bus passes, why not day care?

Quality universal day care (along with prenatal and pre school and school) PAYS OFF BIG TIME, (see Finland and other nordics), and that we are even having this discussion proves how stupid our political culture has become.

Yes, it costs money. Like all infrastructure and investment.

Yes, I have “Had it up to here” with the sullen stupidity of our political economy.

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Nine times out of ten when people come to do work on the house, always get to chatting about their work, etc., could they hire more. Especially if I’m having to make an appointment months out like for the tree removal service. Invariably they all say they could easily hire more for the work load they have but they just can’t find the people with either the skills or desire to learn them. These are all trades that would essentially pay you while you learn. And not just $15/hr but upwards of $50.



Many daycare workers have four-year degrees or master’s degrees. Does not change the pay much.

People have made a deal. Call it childcare and heap a lot of crap on it but only say you’d like to see it pay more.


If you are a parent who thinks you have childcare workers, I think you are a lazy lazy parent. You are the childcare.

Daycare is educational. Daycare is all sorts of stuff. I am talking about the ultimate childcare call it should be 16 hours a day. From the very early morning to late evening if need be. A complete replacement for the home. Horse Hockey.

Up the pay for daycare. Do not discuss crap parents want to demand just because parents won’t do the job.

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The low pay is problematic in some states, but even worse is the lack of support from the administration in the face of all the non-educational cr@p you have to deal with from the kids, parents, public and politicians. It is a near impossible job…pre-Covid, post-Covid, always. Frankly the kids are the best part of it, with the problems coming from a few, not the majority. I put teaching right up there with police as a thankless job. No teacher should ever be one on one with a kid without others present, for the protection of the teacher, not the kid, many of whom have learned the weaponization of false accusations to get the bad grades off their back.

There have been multiple articles for many years concerning the shortage of teachers and the lowering of standards to get more teachers in. Our local high school had to close for a couple of days recently because of a sick out in protest of the working conditions.

Bus drivers are almost impossible to get as well, even though pay starts at $22/hour with medical available even to those putting in only 20 hours a week. They are also buying smaller vehicles so that a CDL is not required, and free training for those willing to get their CDL.

It’s a mess.

who helped a school out by taking on the middle school math classes for a trimester, until they could find a certified teacher, having to fight the administration to resolve a bullying problem that almost led to a gun being brought in to resolve the multi-year problem, (kid being bullied thanked me and confessed his intent, at which point I walked him down to the school psychologist!)


[quote=“inparadise, post:13, topic:99478”]
Frankly the kids are the best part of it, with the problems coming from a few, not the majority.[/quote]

After 56 consecutive first days of school from one side of the teacher’s desk or the other, I retired at 60 in 2011. The kids are the only part of teaching that I miss. I have friends in the classroom who make me so glad that I got out early.


What a load of BS, most likely proclaimed by someone who has never had kids.

We decided I would become a SAHM when our first was born. If I had understood I would be giving up my career as a research chemist, I might have changed that choice with hindsight. I worked hard to get where I was, and was pretty skilled at what I did, but not being in the industry pretty much torpedoed my ability to stay current with the evolving knowledge base of my area. Add on to that the difficulty of explaining away, to men, how having remained at home while the kids were small wasn’t going to repeat itself and leave them stranded. Yes, it is still very much like the '50’s at times. The company I worked for was in the midst of layoffs, as was all their industry, so finding a different position that would allow me to go part time or switch to a position that didn’t require I be on the road 25% of the time wasn’t possible.

I have never had a harder job than being at home with the kids, but it is not laziness that keeps people from doing it. Kids are expensive and most parents start much younger than we did. We were privileged to both be well established in well paying careers and with a firm financial basis. Most don’t have the choice to up and quit their career to raise their kids.

Lazy. What an ignorant statement on your part.



Could you explain in a sentence or two what you mean by each term, childcare and daycare? I think your definitions of these terms may be unique to you.

We’ve also discussed one simple answer before…Year-round schooling. Won’t solve every problem, but could help with many. These include:

  1. Eliminates the need for summer day care for school age kids.
  2. Increases teacher pay (12-month instead of 9-month).
  3. Potentially mproves education by providing more school days.

If the latter is true, then it typically means higher worker productivity and reduced dropout and teen pregnancy rates. These alone would mean that the program could pay for itself within a few years.

About 10% of US school systems currently are year-round.
Year-round school in the United States - Wikipedia.

About 25% of South Carolina schools have switched, though there is controversy as to how much it benefits day care and education needs. My guess is that it will be a positive to both, once people adapt to the year-round schedule.

It will at least ensure that all kids get one decent meal a day.


The load of BS is the skills of parents who do not do the job.

Stop offering to pay people more knowing the money will never appear but then demanding a lot of other people. That is lazy all the way around.

Must be nice for both people to work and save for retirement. But there is a long line of workers who can not retire and are not paid enough to get by. Talk about arrogance calling that out. You have done zero to add up the human costs. It is another me me me argument from you.

Most of those workers are women being $crewed over by parents putting themselves first. “Oh I think it is very unfair what they pay you. I will be late this evening picking up wee Johny. Can you stay to…? Yes he needs…I just do not have the time to see to that”.

@PucksFool The main difference with Childcare is the hours. Earlier in the morning to much later at night. Constantly at the parent’s whims for their job needs.

The parents can get rich in two jobs while low-pay workers get empty promises, “We hope you get paid more”. Pathetic. But it makes people rich. Meanwhile, the ideal states that the childcare worker is complete care for the child. Daycare is not complete care. That is the party line.

Up above has a guilty conscience. If the parents were not lazy calling it daycare would be perfectly okay. Daycare is limited to actually paying for what you get. Employing women cheaply has never been that.

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How do you expect to do this with the non-pay issues involved in getting qualified teachers? You are taking away the one benefit of summers “off”, though the need for teachers to continue adding credits towards advancement and pay raises typically eliminates free summers. My parents were both in education, Mom a teacher who pursued masters degrees in the summers, Dad an administrator who worked year round. When I taught the prep time I did at home, along with the grading of tests and homework. I spent way too much time at work from home…unpaid. It’s a crazy career to do right.



Teacher’s salaries have been essentially level when inflation adjusted. Average public school teachers’ salary in constant 2019-20 dollars:

2019-20    $63.6K
2000-01    $63.7
1990-01    $63.5


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