“It’s Hard to Find Qualified Craft Workers” – Construction Firms

craft workers

A recent industry-wide survey conducted by Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) shows that a lot of contractors find it hard to find qualified craft workers. About 80% said that it is the main reason why projects are delayed, resulting in increased construction cost.

“Labor shortages in the construction industry remain significant and widespread,” says Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “The best way to encourage continued economic growth, make it easier to rebuild aging infrastructure, and place more young adults into high-paying careers is to address construction workforce shortages.”

As per the collated data from over 2500 respondents, a lot of companies are struggling with filling hourly craft positions. The problem is evident in all 4 regions of the US – 81% from West and South, 77% from Northeast and 80% from Midwest.

The lack of qualified contractors was due to the increasing demand in the construction industry. The construction employment has drastically increased between July 2017 and July 2018 in 281 out of 358 metro areas.

Because of the continuous demand, construction firms are preparing as they foresee that it will get harder to find contractors who can fill hourly craft positions.

“With a rise in the share of firms having trouble finding skilled craft workers, it’s evident that we need to reskill the future workforce,” says Sarah Hodges, senior director, construction business line at Autodesk. “Technology can help bridge this gap, and more firms are bringing training in-house to implement digital strategies such as building information modeling, or BIM, to ease staffing challenges and train the next generation of industry professionals.”

About 62% of the surveyed construction firms have stated that they have increased their based pay rate, 24% improved their employees’ benefits and 25% provided incentives and bonus.