Construction Employment Up While Labor Shortages Remain a Concern

AGC of America
August 19, 2014
Markets

Construction firms added jobs in 39 states from July 2013 to July 2014 and in 34 states from June to July, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America; however, labor shortage remains a concern.

"The overall trend in construction employment has been very consistent in 2014 with more than three-fourths of states adding jobs each month on a year-over-year basis," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "However, growing numbers of contractors say they are having trouble finding skilled workers or subcontractors that can supply such workers."

Association officials said it is encouraging that a large majority of states added construction jobs for the year and the month. However, they cautioned that construction firms in many parts of the country appear to be experiencing varying amounts of labor shortages. They said that while worker shortages appear most severe in fast-growing states like Colorado and Texas, there is still time for elected officials to act on the association's workforce development suggestions before shortages become more widespread.

"We are at real risk of going from a situation where firms couldn't hire because there wasn't enough demand to firms not being able to hire because there aren't enough qualified workers," says Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer.