Northwest Construction Firms Feeling Lack of Qualified Workers

Nearly 80 percent of construction firms plan to expand headcount in 2019, but most are also worried about their ability to find qualified workers.

Seventy-nine percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2019 but an almost equal percentage are worried about their ability to locate and hire qualified workers, according to survey results released by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate. The findings are detailed in Contractors Remain Confident About Demand, Worried About Labor Supply: The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report.

The Outlook was based on survey results from over 1,300 firms from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Varying numbers responded to each question. Contractors of every size answered over 20 questions about their hiring, workforce, business, and information technology plans. Click here for Contractors Remain Confident About Demand, Worried About Labor Supply: The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report. Click here for the survey results.

Oregon Survey Results Highlights

Survey results from Oregon are available, and include a write-up of results from 30 contractors who listed Oregon as their primary state (out of 1,312 total respondents). Here are the highlights:

  • Q4. We are having a hard time filling some or all salaried and hourly craft positions (OR 78%, US 78%)
  • Q5. Over the next 12 months it will become harder to hire hourly craft or salaried personnel (OR 26%, US 26%); it will continue to be hard to hire hourly craft or salaried personnel (OR 33%, US 42%)
  • Q6. Did your firm increase pay or benefits for salaried or hourly craft personnel in 2018 because of difficulty filling positions?
    • Our firm increased base pay rates (OR 63%, US 59%)
    • Our firm provided incentives/bonuses (OR 20%, US 29%)
    • Our firm increased our portion of benefit contributions and/or improved employee benefits (OR 27%, US 21%)
  • Q7. If your firm is experiencing staffing challenges, how would you describe the impact on your projects?
    • Costs have been higher than we anticipated (OR 33%, US 33%); we have put higher prices into our bids or contracts (OR 43%, US 37%)
    • Projects have taken longer than we anticipated (OR 30%, US 34%); we have put longer completion times into our bids or contracts (OR 27%, US 18%)

View the complete Oregon survey results here.

Washington Survey Results Highlights

Survey results from Washington are available, and include a write-up of results from 58 contractors who listed Washington as their primary state (out of 1,312 total respondents). Here are the highlights:

  • Q4. We are having a hard time filling some or all salaried and hourly craft positions (WA 75%, US 78%)
  • Q5. Over the next 12 months it will become harder to hire hourly craft or salaried personnel (WA 21%, US 26%); it will continue to be hard to hire hourly craft or salaried personnel (WA 34%, US 42%)
  • Q6. Did your firm increase pay or benefits for salaried or hourly craft personnel in 2018 because of difficulty filling positions?
    • Our firm increased base pay rates (WA 56%, US 59%)
    • Our firm provided incentives/bonuses (WA 31%, US 29%)
    • Our firm increased our portion of benefit contributions and/or improved employee benefits (WA 24%, US 21%)
  • Q7. If your firm is experiencing staffing challenges, how would you describe the impact on your projects?
    • Costs have been higher than we anticipated (WA 16%, US 33%); we have put higher prices into our bids or contracts (WA 29%, US 37%)
    • Projects have taken longer than we anticipated (WA 27%, US 34%); we have put longer completion times into our bids or contracts (WA 20%, US 18%)

View the complete Washington survey results here.

Share on