The U.S. construction industry is facing a tech revolution that’s upending the roles of skilled workers. Many traditional contractors are struggling to embrace the new technologies customers increasingly demand, while the industry struggles to attract young professionals. According to the latest American Community Survey data, the median age of a construction worker is 41.
This is particularly concerning given the confluence of two trends: the construction industry is facing a critical workforce shortage that’s only expected to intensify, and the workforce is aging—NCCER is predicting around 40% are expected to retire by 2031. Industry leaders must prioritize using the latest industry solutions and innovations to modernize construction work, transform the construction industry and appeal to the next generation of contractors.
Throughout COVID-19, the construction sector experienced a higher number of workers quitting jobs as opposed to being laid off, indicating the older workforce likely took the opportunity to retire early, along with more than three million other Americans who did the same. Currently, industry leaders are not doing enough to communicate opportunities to help shift the career perception of electrical contractors from simply being “blue collar” and un-exciting. A 2019 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found only 3% of people ages 18 to 25 were interested in pursuing a construction career, with most respondents noting the desire for a less physically demanding job.
Reprinted courtesy of Guillaume Le Gouic, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.