The immediate effect of the skilled worker shortage impacting the U.S. construction industry for the last two years was a slowdown in work. Demand rose and backlogs increased as firms struggled to find enough workers to tackle new jobs.
But now, a new wrinkle is being pointed to by a development executive. Lydia Tan, senior vice president of development at real estate investment advisory firm Bentall Kennedy tells GlobeSt.com the labor shortage has led to “drastically rising construction costs.”
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Construction firms added 17,000 jobs in May and 273,000 over 12 months, as the sector’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest May rate since 2006, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the job gains come as the private and public sectors are increasing investments in construction services.
“Construction employers continue to expand headcount as they adjust to growing demand for their services in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Right now the two most likely obstacles to the industry’s continued expansion are growing labor shortages and political gridlock that could curtail public sector investments in infrastructure and construction.”
See more here and read about the Associated General Contractors of America Workforce Development Plan here.