Nearly 9 out of 10 construction firms say they’re having trouble hiring workers, according to a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. More than half of survey respondents saying they’ve raised their pay rates for hourly craft professionals to compete for hiring.
Craft professionals are most in demand, and the hardest positions to fill are carpenters, sheet metal installers, and concrete workers.
Firms are also struggling to fill salaried positions, with project managers/supervisors, estimators, and engineers in highest demand. Competition for project managers/supervisors is highest in the Northeast, where 69% of firms say they’re having trouble hiring for those positions.
The AGC’s latest survey data sheds new light on the well-documented construction worker shortage. The percentage of companies saying they are having trouble hiring rose from 81% in 2013, to 83% in 2014, to 86% in the latest survey. The shortage is widespread, impacting union and open shop firms of all sizes across the U.S.
The AGC cites deficiencies in education as one reason for the worker shortage. “The sad fact is too few students are being exposed to construction careers or provided with the basic skills needed to prepare for such a career path,” AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said.