[This post was published on August 2, 2010 during the recovery process from the Great Recession of 2007-2009. We believe that the core idea idea that you need advanced computer and knowledge skills in large scale shovelling still holds in 2021. Just as Governments worldwide try to dig out of the Coronavirus pandemic – Updated January 10, 2021]
The next time you drive past a sign like this one look around and count the number of machines you see working and the number of men you see working. For the dollars spent on repairing the stretch of road you just struggled through don’t you think that the number of folks actually working is sort of low?
I guess worldwide Governments pump money into public works to try and shore up employment. Unlike the early 20th century when you had lots of people working on roadworks as you see here today roadwork involves high tech,capital intensive equipment. Yes there are jobs for experienced,qualified earth moving equipment technicians but the “shovel ready” is not really the manual 19th/20th century manual shovel used by unskilled labor. Today’s “shovel ready” is more like knowledge work.
Public Works some-how seemed immune from the computer ,software and technology but that is not the case if you look closely at the sophisticated equipment on the roads.I know that much of these equipment have a large part of globally sourced components and that does’nt immediately help the less-skilled segment of unemployed Americans.