Construction Unemployment Falls to Lowest September Mark in 15 Years as Hiring Slows Amid Growing Worker Shortages
Warning that Worker Shortages Could Lead to Higher Construction Costs and Slower Schedules, Association Officials Call for New Workforce Development Measures
The number of unemployed workers with construction experience dropped to the lowest total for September since 2000, as hiring continued to slow despite robust demand for construction, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that the hiring slowdown most likely reflects a lack of available workers that could lead to project delays unless more students and workers join the construction sector.
“Growth in the construction workforce has been slowing throughout 2015, just at the time that construction spending has accelerated to a multi-year high,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Contractors would love to hire more workers but there aren’t enough qualified craft workers or supervisors available.”
Construction employment totaled 6,396,000 in September, the most since February 2009, but the total rose by only 8,000 in September and by 205,000 or 3.3 percent over the past year, Simonson noted. In the previous 12 months, construction employment had risen by 298,000 or 5.1 percent. Click here to continue reading.