Federation labor shortage reaches 'crisis' levels | EVE Online

Federation labor shortage reaches 'crisis' levels

2008-04-12 - By Svarthol

As the Gallente economy soars to new highs and citizens live increasingly comfortable lives, Gallente industry faces a rapidly increasing labor shortage. Even as the Federation unemployment rate nears zero, billions of jobs in manufacturing, industry, and other blue collar positions remain unfilled.

"Most Gallente don't need to work those positions," said Danette Burres, a labor specialist working for Roden Shipyards, one of the companies affected by the labor shortage. "The soaring economy has allowed many people to retire early. Even regular people have been making lots of money off investments. The number of white collar jobs has gone up as well, with many of them being filled by the people who used to fill the factories. And since people have so much extra money, they're able to spend it on luxuries, which open up jobs in non-traditional markets."

The lack of labor has yet to negatively effect production, mainly because there are enough workers putting in overtime to fill demand. According to Burres, that is likely to lead to further shortages. "As workers make more money through overtime, they'll be able to turn that money into investments or just add it to their savings. And then they'll be able to stock their retirement fund earlier."

Similarly, increasing wages has yet to stem the flow of labor out of blue collar labor. "The factory is not a glamorous place to work. Putting together ship parts, welding armor plating, and the like aren't exactly chic ways to earn a living, nor is it the safest. So even if you can make slightly more money by working in a factory than doing landscaping arrangements for businessmen's mansions, many people are choosing to go into landscaping."

Many experts predict that the lack of labor could eventually reach unsustainable levels. "We're nearing a crisis," said Serge LaFleur, an economist at the University of Caille. "If the base of our economy cannot meet the demand for goods because of production shortages, we're going to see the price of goods skyrocket. Even now, we're seeing some of our largest corporations shut down factories because of labor shortages. Our economy is strong now, but what will happen when the price of a simple automobile reaches the cost of a space ship?"

Despite the cries of panic, those same experts also have several recommendations to solve the problem. "We need to loosen the Federation's laws on outsourced labor," said Burres. "Right now, most of our labor comes from inside the Federation. However, there are billions of underpaid workers in the State, Republic, and even the Empire that would immediately fill our factories if they were given the chance. However, most are not able to move from their homes, and thus we need to take our factories to them."

LaFleur disagrees. "The reason our economy is so strong now is because of the majority of our jobs are inside the Federation and we don't have to rely on good relations with other empires to sustain our workforce. If we shipped half our production jobs to the State and relations soured, suddenly we're faced with an even bigger problem. No, the best thing to do is make it easier for people to immigrate into the Federation. While we already have a large number of immigrant laborers, we still have people essentially waiting in line for a chance to enter the Federation and fill the void of jobs. We should make it easier for them to do so."