Updated Aug 5, 2018

The big picture: The American industries that can't find workers

Construction workers in New York. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Amid the country's booming economy, currently in the midst of its longest-ever streak of job growth, some American industries are having problems finding workers to fill their openings.

The big picture: Many of the struggling industries pay well and provide ample benefits, so it seems strange that they'd be stuck with so many job vacancies. However, they're physically demanding or mentally stressful — often a combination of both — leading many millennials, who are likely to be more educated than the generations before them, to seek employment in other sectors.

  • Construction has been seeing a labor shortage because young U.S. workers aren't interested in replacing the aging workforce, even though it's a well-paid industry that often doesn’t require a college degree, reports the Wall Street Journal. Also potentially to blame: many businesses aren't willing to put in the time to help young people with on-the-job training.
  • Farmers in Washington are having experiencing a shortage of workers to bring in their harvests, McClatchy reports. That’s because very few American workers want agricultural jobs — and the federal government's guest worker program is too expensive for growers and useless for some farmers.
  • Truck drivers are facing a shortage of 51,000 this year, and that's projected to rise to 100,000 by 2021, USA Today reported earlier this year. Baby boomers are retiring from the truck driving business, but millennials have been unwilling to replace them, given the grueling hours and travel associated with the job.
  • 911 dispatchers are in short supply in cities all around the United States. Some factors, per the WSJ: small centers, the lack of resources to train and pay workers, and the unwillingness of many job-seekers to deal with the position's life-or-death consequences.

Go deeper: There are now more job openings than people unemployed.

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Coronavirus updates: U.S. probes possible community spread as more countries report cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. South Korea has the most cases outside China, with 1,595 infections confirmed by Wednesday night. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 453 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Milwaukee Molson Coors brewery complex on Wednesday, including the shooter, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. Police chief Alfonso Morales told reporters that officers have "more than 20 buildings we have to secure" at the complex and they do not currently have all employees accounted for, as more than 1,000 were at the complex during the shooting.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy