Construction Workforce Shortages Pose Risk to Infrastructure Projects
Construction workforce shortages undermine the industry's ability to complete projects on schedule and threaten the success of new federal investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Autodesk.
"Construction workforce shortages are severe and having a significant impact on construction firms of all types, all sizes and all labor arrangements," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "These workforce shortages are compounding the challenges firms are having with supply chain disruptions that are inflating the cost of construction materials and making delivery schedules and product availability uncertain."
93% of construction firms report they have open positions they are trying to fill. Among those firms, 91% are having trouble filling at least some of those positions—particularly among the craft workforce that performs the bulk of onsite construction work, Simonson said.
The survey found one main reason for labor shortages is that most job candidates are not qualified to work in the industry. In fact, 77% of firms reported that candidates lack the skills needed to work in construction or cannot pass a drug test.
Two-thirds (66%) of construction firms have projects that have been delayed due to labor shortages, while 82% have projects that have been delayed due to supply chain challenges, according to AGC.
These challenges are making construction more expensive. 86% of firms have raised pay rates for workers while 70% have passed along rising materials costs to project owners during the past year, per AGC.