The economy is clearly rebounding, which means that construction will be picking up across the country. In fact, a steadily progressing growth has been making its way through the industry. Unfortunately, the labor shortage in the US has made it difficult for contractors find the construction workers they need to help with new construction jobs.
But, it is not just a lack of workers that is the problem, it is a lack of skilled labor. Highly trained, highly capable craftsmen have been dropping away from construction and there are not many new workers to take their places. A surprising 83% of contractors struggle with finding the skilled labor they need, according the Associated General Contractors of America.
Not only is this hindering the progress of construction projects, it actually creates significant safety concerns on the jobsite. If contractors are forced to stop construction, work with a limited crew, or hire less than qualified workers, the potential for accidents increases. With safety already known to be a significant issue on construction jobs, it’s important to ensure construction workers have reliable safety training.
Why the Labor Shortage?
Many know that construction is profitable, accessible work. This leaves the question of why exactly there is a labor shortage at all. The root of the issue goes back to how hard the construction industry was hit during the recession. Approximately 2 million construction workers were laid off during the recession.
Many fled the construction industry all together, including the skilled workers. Rather than waiting for construction to pick back up, skilled laborers took their talents to other industries or retired if the time was right. Now that the construction industry has shown a revival, though, there is a lack of new talent to take their place.
Labor Shortage Solutions
Fortunately, there are many solutions to this construction labor shortage. To help revive the industry, it is important to attract, train, and retain new skilled workers. This means showing the benefits of the construction industry to younger generations and ensuring that their talents are fostered and properly trained. Training a new generation of craftsmen takes time, though. For immediate labor needs, productivity consulting and construction staffing agencies are great resources.
Productivity consultants help construction companies optimize their workforce-to-workload ratio and to not overstaff. So, not only are worksites more efficient, but there are also more skilled laborers available for other construction jobs. Finally, skilled labor construction staffing agencies such as Tradesmen International are constantly in the hiring mode and adding to their large databases of craftsmen – in all trades at all skill levels – who emphasize Safety, Productivity and Craftsmanship. Calling staffing services at least a week in advance of needing skilled labor will better enable them to provide contingent trade professionals who match the skill-sets you are looking for.
If you’re interested in construction staffing services, learn more about Tradesmen International’s skilled labor solutions.