A national survey carried out by the Associated General Contractors of America has revealed that nearly three-fourths of US construction firms are struggling to find suitably qualified workers.
In total, 74 per cent of responding firms said they have trouble finding qualified craft workers, with carpenters, equipment operators and labourers being particularly tricky positions to fill. The survey also showed that just over half (53 per cent) of the companies surveyed were having a hard time filling professional positions – especially project supervisors, estimators and engineers.
Association officials have called for comprehensive immigration and education reform measures to be introduced to help alleviate and avoid worker shortages.
“Many construction firms are already having a hard time finding qualified workers and expect construction labour shortages will only get worse,” said Stephen E Sandherr, Chief Executive Officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “We need to take short- and long-term steps to make sure there are enough workers to meet future demand and avoid the costly construction delays that would come with labour shortages,” he added.
What’s more, most companies expect the worker shortage to continue for the foreseeable future. Eighty-six per cent of the survey’s respondents said they expect it will remain difficult or get harder to find qualified craft workers over the next 12 months, while 72 per cent say the market for professional positions will remain hard or get worse.