The greatest challenge facing the construction industry is worker shortage according to a report the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Highlights from a year ago. In the last year it has not improved, in fact quite the opposite. The industry is riddled with a high turnover rate, due to unskilled labor, the baby boomers retiring and just the plain shortage of workers. Finding qualified talent and keeping those people remains difficult.
The statistics from 2016 say that an average of 25,000 jobs came available per month from March 2015 – March 2016. Companies in the construction industry are hiring at a steady rate, they just can’t keep up. Workers that found other positions during the recession are not necessarily returning to construction, the baby boomers are retiring in droves, and qualified, experienced workers are leaving. The challenge is to replace this talent with new workers who can produce the same amount of work.
The Association of General Contractors of America 2016 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook, finds that construction companies are getting creative with the benefits they offer in order to retain the qualified workers they have. Contractors are still having a hard time filling all the positions they have open, and therefore can’t do as many projects as they have available to them. Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC Chief Executive Officer said, “As demand for construction continues to grow, many of our members are going from not having enough work, to not having enough workers.”
Recruitment and retention needs to be every construction company’s top priority. Companies thrive because of the successful projects they do, projects thrive because of the successful workers they have.