Where are all the construction workers?

Workforce has done a half decent job (if I do say so myself) of looking for job seekers in construction online.  We have good traffic on this blog, a bunch of followers on Twitter and over 100 likes on Facebook.  Our website is admittedly not yet on the first page of a Google “Bermuda construction jobs” search but that may take some time.  We’ve even had a nice write up in the Bermuda Sun.

It has now been two weeks since we have posted on the Bermuda Job Board which I thought would be a primary source of candidates given that it is operated by the Department of Labour and is about to become a de facto requirement for anyone seeking a work permit.  We have had only three responses.  The department is supposed to assist job seekers to use the Board as well.

I was initially dismissive of the notion that construction people don’t frequent the internet because we are troglodytes and all that.  Given the penetration of home and mobile internet on the island, I thought for sure most people, particularly those looking for work, would be online.

Either they are not online, or, there are not that many people looking for work.

Both answers have me scratching my head.

We will be biting the bullet and doing a color ad in the daily sometime soon which may put this issue to bed.

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About workforcebda

Alex owns and operates Workforce Ltd., a Bermuda-based staffing company for the construction industry.
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2 Responses to Where are all the construction workers?

  1. Larry Burchall says:

    Alex,
    You’re just beginning to walk into one of many similar problems that lay astride the whole spectrum of Bermuda’s labour demographics.

    Bermuda has a limited – and shrinking – supply of Bermudian workers. Since 2000, Bermudians – male and female, black and white, university educated and high school graduates – have been emigrating and not returning from overseas training/education.

    The biggest indicator here is that 28,881 BERMUDIANS were counted filling jobs in 2000. Between 2000 and 2008, Bermuda’s economy boomed. Some say it over heated.

    But by 2008, in this booming – overheating – economy, the number of BERMUDIANS counted as filling jobs in Bermuda went DOWN. It fell from 28,881 BERMUDIANS (in 2000) to 27,180 BERMUDIANS (in 2008). This was a LOSS of 1,701 BERMUDIANS. These 1,701 were not joining the ranks of the unemployed because between 2000 and 2008 Bermuda IMPORTED 1,701 Guest Workers (to compensate fro the disappeared BERMUDIANS) AND then Bermuda imported another 2,196 Guest Workers to enable the expanding – overheating? – economy to grow to 40,213 people filling jobs in Bermuda by 2008.

    Remember the numbers! Total Guest Workers imported between 2000 and 2008 was 3,897. Total BERMUDIANS who went out of the filled jobs count was 1,701.

    Something odd was happening!

    Nationally and over too long a time, we’ve been paying too little attention to real population movements. Result is that we have an unknown number of Bermudian workers available for work; an unknown number of Bermudians currently ‘out of work’ [Do note that few people have seized on the 2013 Labour Force stats as ‘good’ numbers; and also note that the Survey writers cannot identify the job categories that make up their reported pool of thousands of unemployed.. .]. Note also that no one knows what the student non-return rate is; or what the overall emigration rate has been since 2000.

    My bet is that you will not find a mass of unemployed construction workers. They are not there now. I reckon in the boom years between 2000 and 2008, these Bermudian construction workers (and others) were moving or were moved out of construction and other categories. In the years between 2000 and 2008; and looking at the figures that I see, that moving out is supported.

    There is much more to the ‘unemployed construction worker’ issue than first meets the eye.

    lb

  2. Kerry Judd says:

    You also are correct about the number that are online. While they are online, they are not necessarily as attached to being online in the mediums being used. Twitter is still a very much unused medium overall in Bermuda and on Facebook, you need to be proactive in posting on other group sites that have a high number of Bermudian followers in addition to having your own. Just a few thoughts:)

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