Labor Shortage in Construction

The construction industry has seen a labor shortage in recent years. Specifically, a loss of 15,000 workers in May. This trend is a very complicated one, but has some simple effects on the day to day of construction employers and candidates.

Pay raise

Another trend seen in May was a increase in construction industry worker pay. This increase was so substantial that it put the average worker’s hourly pay above that of the private sector. The reduction in jobs, and seeming lack of interest in the construction industry could have played a role in the increase in pay for construction workers. This pay change has a drastic affect on the lives of construction workers and employers. From the point of view of an employer hiring choices are of even greater importance, with more money on the line through the increase in wages. From a candidates perspective there could be more availability in construction as a result of the declining interest, as well as higher wages to account for.

Residential v.s. non residential

Although jobs in both the residential and non residential construction sectors have declined, non residential construction took the bigger blow. Non residential construction differs from residential, because it’s workers must be highly skilled in many different aspects of construction. Residential construction also requires fewer large pieces of expensive equipment. As a rule most residential construction professionals are specialized in a certain area such as electricity or plumbing, where as non residential construction workers must have qualifications in many different tasks. These differences could be the driving force behind the the increased scarcity of labor in the non residential sector of construction.

What can employers do?

Employers have a serious problem facing them as labor seems to be drying up in the construction industry. The first way in which employers can begin to regrow their candidate pool is through marketing campaigns and other forms of education. Once more possible candidates become aware of the rewarding lifestyle that can be achieved through construction more applicants will begin to appear. An increase in technical training could also help with the shortage of effective non residential construction labor.

Bottom Line

With the labor shortage within the construction industry has come an increase in worker compensation. This trend has the potential to effect both candidates and employers in the construction industry. As an employer, a new marketing campaign which highlights the good side of construction would be an advisable course of action. As a candidate now could be a good time to launch your construction career with hourly wages reaching all time highs.