In August, Associated General Contractors (AGC) and Autodesk released the results of their 2017 Construction Workforce Shortage Survey. Of the more than 1,600 survey respondents, 70 percent said they are having difficulty filling hourly craft positions. Craft worker shortages are the most severe in the West, where 75 percent of contractors are having a hard time filling those positions, followed by the Midwest where 72 percent are having a hard time finding craft workers, 70 percent in the South and 63 percent in the Northeast.
Tight labor market conditions are prompting firms to change the way they operate, recruit and compensate workers. Most firms report they are making a special effort to recruit and retain veterans (79 percent); women (70 percent), and African Americans (64 percent). Meanwhile, half of construction firms report increasing base pay rates for craft workers because of the difficulty in filling positions. Twenty percent have improved employee benefits for craft workers and 24 percent report they are providing incentives and bonuses to attract workers.