The construction industry has been in the news lately due to the dearth of skilled workers available to build projects and repair infrastructure throughout the United States. The problem appears most worrisome in California, where public works projects have been put on hold because there aren’t enough workers to do the job.
The construction industry has seen an increase in projects in recent years, thanks to an improving economy and new technologies that have made it easier and more affordable for building contractors to build homes and buildings faster. Alongside COVID, we’re also seeing a surge in renovation and remodeling projects.
But unfortunately, this increased demand has been met by falling supply of workers, due to retirements and an aging workforce, making labor shortages an ongoing problem in the construction industry.
As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age every year, the pool of workers available to take on this kind of construction work shrinks further and further, making it increasingly difficult for construction companies to keep up with demand in order to meet their clients’ needs.
As per ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors), there’s going to be a massive shortage of skilled labor every passing year. As per the association, there might be a labor shortage for as much as 665,000 workers in the current year. Anyhow, it’s an estimate based on the current trends in the industry as well as the forecast requirement of labor.
Although, we’re seeing an increase in the entry-labor percentage of around 73% but this shows there’s a much gap in the realm of skilled labor. ABC has predicted that around the end of 2022; the country might lose 1.2 million construction workers.
Revamp policies to cater skilled labor construction workers
Here’s a remodel by Dean Kinslow to tackle skilled workers labor shortage effectively:
There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. These include, but are not limited to:
· Increase immigration quotas for skilled laborers
· Provide more funding for apprenticeships and vocational programs
· Raise wages for skilled laborers and provide more bonuses for completing tasks on time or ahead of schedule.
· Offer housing options with an affordable price point close to the jobsite
· Keep safety top priority by providing workers with protective gear – Reduce overtime hours so that employees have time to spend with their families
· Encourage employees to take breaks so they can use their brains and help prevent errors in work – Revamp policies to encourage people who retire early to take up employment in the construction industry – Strengthen ties between business owners and local politicians in order to get government funded projects completed as quickly as possible.
· Work closely with educational institutions to create education programs specific to the needs of the construction industry
· Create incentive packages that include retirement plans and 401Ks so employees are less likely to leave prematurely
· Lowering turnover rates will lead to lower costs for employers due to retraining new hires.
Post-pandemic consequences complicated the construction industry, but new technologies are on the horizon to alleviate the issues.
Recent events such as two years of the pandemic and the economic crash have created an unstable economic situation, in which there are stalled construction projects, layoffs and disrupted business expectations.
As we enter into a new phase of life in the wake of the pandemic, many construction projects have been started across the country, which might be adversely impacted because, in recent years, technology advancements have been prompted by the impact of the pandemic and this has accelerated in the last couple of years.