OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Labor Shortage, Tall Task

Construction

By Christopher Kosty

The labor shortage facing contractors has been a key industry risk in recent years. On August 29, 2018, Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released their findings of a survey taken by over 2,500 constructions firms nationwide. The survey asked 18 different questions relating to various matters, including employment and labor shortage issues. A few key takeaways:

  • 80% of respondents noted difficulties in hiring craft labor (83% of PA respondents).
  • Of 20 different craft labor types listed, both national and PA respondents noted 19 of 20 positions were more difficult to hire than one year prior.
  • Craft laborers within respondents’ local pipelines rated 85% of individuals at poorly or fairly trained (65% by PA).

Contractors have taken differing approaches to remedy labor shortages, with 62% of survey respondents increasing base pay rates for skilled laborers. These additional costs resulted in 47% of survey respondents having to put higher-priced bids out, directly attributable to increased labor costs. Some firms are providing in-house training to increase job site efficiencies with their existing workforce, while other firms are investing in labor-saving equipment and technology to reduce the need for laborers in the future.

Brian Turmail, Senior Executive Director of Public Affairs at AGC, responded to this survey, saying, “We think the project site 10 years from now will look very different than it does today.” 

What steps has your firm taken to combat skilled labor shortages?

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

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