According to recent data from the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment increased by 14k jobs in August and was up 177,000, or 2.4%, over the past 12 months. In addition, they also report that the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience remained near historic lows. AGC officials said that 80% of contractors reported they were having a hard time finding enough qualified hourly craft workers to hire.
“Construction employment gains would likely have been higher if firms could find even more people to hire,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Our survey found that 91 percent of respondents said their firms expect to hire in the next 12 months, but overwhelmingly, they are finding most craft positions hard to fill. Even as firms are raising pay and benefits, doing more in-house training and investing in labor-saving equipment, labor shortages are changing the way many firms bid, schedule and manage their projects.”