Labor Shortage Plaguing the Construction Industry

The construction industry is experiencing a worker shortage, and new numbers are showing some staggering statistics that need to be addressed.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates that in the United States, there are currently approximately 200,000 construction job openings waiting to be filled, which is an 81% increase during the past two years.

Between 2004 and 2014, there were 837,800 jobs lost throughout the U.S. construction industry. There are 17% fewer people working in construction than when the market was at its peak. The construction industry took a hit during the last recession and now experienced construction workers are harder to find. Many workers left the field altogether and the industry is feeling the impact. There aren’t as many seasoned professionals remaining to mentor the new generation.

The construction industry is struggling with a higher demand and a graying labor pool. In 1985, the average age of construction workers was 36 years old. This average jumped to 40.4 years old by 2008, and it continues to rise. Construction workers tend to stop working at an earlier age than do workers in other sectors, which has further reduced the number of experienced workers. There are also a significant number of “baby boomers” in the industry, which means that the number of experienced workers will continue to dwindle during the next 10 years.

An issue plaguing the construction industry is the dangers faced by workers. At least 10% of workers leave the industry due to injury or illness. These types of conditions and health issues contribute to the growing number of workers leaving the field. When considering the age of the workers and the potential for illness and injury, it’s clear that the lack of experienced professionals in the construction world has reached epidemic proportions.

It is estimated that output in the construction sector will increase by about 2.8% annually, reaching slightly below $1.4 billion by 2024. This makes construction the fastest growing industry of all the goods-producing sectors, and will even outpace economic growth as a whole. The construction industry will have the largest industry increase for employment by adding approximately 790,400 jobs by 2024. The resurgence of the construction industry is reliant upon experienced contractors remaining healthy, and teaching the next generation of construction workers the ins and outs of the field.

Posted: 6/12/2017 1:13:22 PM