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Construction Labor Shortage

In the 2008 financial crisis, the construction industry had to stop a lot of production, which resulted in a construction labor shortage. In fact, about 2.3 million jobs were lost for those laborers. Fast forward to 2020, construction projects are booming and companies are unable to find enough workers to fulfill their requirements. Why are people not looking to work in construction labor anymore? What is happening as a result of a shortage of workers? What is the solution and are local governments going to get involved? 

Table of Contents

The Cause Of The Construction Labor Shortage  

After the 2.3 million jobs were eliminated due to the housing bubble burst of 2008, workers of the construction trade found other types of jobs. Now,  there is a major deficiency in construction workers because people looked for other jobs as a result of the economic downfall. In addition, millennials, who comprise 50% of the job market, are a contributing problem as a large percent of them have unrelated degrees and no connection to the construction industry. 


Results of The Construction Labor Shortage

There are 404,000 available jobs for construction laborers that remain unfulfilled. This causes a ripple effect in the industry to include 43-44% of the construction projects being more expensive and taking longer than expected. As construction directly affects cities and counties, local governments are analyzing the issue and looking to find a solution. 


How Construction Companies Can Move Forward

There are a few different ways construction companies can fill the gap of missing laborers. A popular and growing way is by investing in more technology, especially in the beginning stages of construction. Planning and designing with advanced technology such as 3D printing, using drones and robots, and lean construction techniques can help reduce the amount of labor needed to finish a project. Using technology in the early stages of development can help make sure companies are using their labor hours at peak efficiency. 

While advancements in technology are out there, it may take companies time to implement these strategies into projects. A few companies are fighting the labor crisis by implementing benefits and improving conditions. A major weakness right now with laborers is the language barrier. Construction companies can work to have more bilingual supervisors, which will help with laborers who might not speak English to cast a wider net of eligible people and to cut down on the risk of injury. Other tactics companies can use is to look into hiring more diverse demographics of people, which can include people like women or veterans. Companies will have to tailor jobs according to their skillset and make it more desirable to attract a more diverse demographic. This will include adding paid time off, health care benefits, and more.


Request a Demo of Agenda Discovery

In a time of booming construction, governments are looking to help solve the problem of the shortage of construction workers because it pertains to their interests as well. Economic development can slow down when construction schedules are delayed or more costly than before. If you are in the construction industry, it is important to stay informed with the latest mandates the government has on construction companies. Requirements may include apprenticeships, minimum wage increases, paid medical leave, and more. Request a demo of Agenda Discovery today to find out more about the latest on the construction labor shortage.


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