Nashville's public radio station complained that the construction companies simply can't find workers. This is in spite of the fact that they pay $12 an hour to start and that the pay could go as high as $22 an hour for the most experienced workers.

It is interesting that the radio station has decided that this is the pay construction workers should get even though the market seems to be saying that the pay should be higher. This raises the question of whether the station would complain about a doctors shortage if no doctors answered the call at a $30 an hour pay rate. (Their actual pay averages more than $250,000 a year, although most put in far more than 40 hours a week.)

Just as a point of reference, if the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity growth over the last fifty years it would be over $18 an hour now. So Nashville's public radio station apparently believes that as a matter of principle (it's not the market) construction workers should be earning less than a productivity adjusted minimum wage. It is also worth noting that these are jobs that typically carried some wage premium — as opposed to working at a fast food restaurant — both because they often require considerable skills and then tend to be physically demanding and dangerous.