As I was saying …

Some thoughts about the work force

The prolonged recession has had at least one positive effect: The roofing industry no longer speaks much about labor shortages.

That does not mean, of course, that the issue is behind us; rather, I fear it has been deferred to another day of reckoning when the situation will be worse than ever. I believe this for at least two reasons.

For one thing, our industry will have downsized, losing good workers who likely will have found other jobs or, in some cases, returned to their homes outside the U.S. Either way, it will be difficult to bring them back.

Additionally, the U.S. population continues to age. Our work force's makeup is—and increasingly will be—a demographic issue. An aging population does not bode well for our industry's ability to find entry-level workers and keep them long enough for them to become productive.