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What’s the solution to construction labor issues?

September 12, 2022
Grant Robbins - Construction Executive

The commercial construction industry must rely on skilled labor to survive. Skilled labor, however, is hard to come by. In fact, many construction firms report projects being delayed because of shortages in the workforce.

Part of the problem is training. Few companies have the time, resources or opportunities to train new construction workers. But the biggest reason for the labor shortage in the construction industry is simply a lack of people joining the trades. Decades ago, construction was a respected career choice. Over the years, however, the pressure to get into a four-year college has created negative perceptions of working in the trades.

Some commercial construction companies choose to work with fewer crews as a result of the lack of skilled labor, therefore limiting the number of jobs they can handle. The labor shortage in the construction industry has simply made it nearly impossible to find subcontractors to adequately staff upcoming projects (one survey found that 35% of contractors had to turn down jobs due to a lack of skilled laborers). This then leads to hikes in construction costs and delays in scheduling, which can take a major toll on business.

Reprinted courtesy of Grant Robbins, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.


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