A recent poll from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) reported that construction companies are having trouble finding skilled workers. This could create big problems for construction companies as the construction economy continues to improve.
AGC’s chief economist, Ken Simonson, noted an interesting trend with construction workers. The number of unemployed, experienced construction workers has dropped in half over the past three years and only 1/3 of those workers have been hired back. The remaining workers have left construction for other industries.
This trend would explain why nearly 75% of the construction firms surveyed reported they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key positions. But, the shortage is not just limited to craft positions. Over ½ of construction firms surveyed also reported that they are having trouble filling professional positions.
The Des Moines Register’s article on construction firms struggle to find employees added real life examples to this problem. Iowa construction firms, including those building the billion dollar fertilizer plants, are having difficulty finding steel workers, heavy equipment operators and concrete workers.
While an improved construction economy is a relief, the lack of skilled workers may create some significant and long-term problems for the industry.