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Construction Boom Creates Worker Shortage Across the U.S.

Nearly 70% of construction firms report they’re having trouble finding qualified craft workers to hire amid growing construction demand. (Source: AGC survey

Two-thirds of construction firms report they're having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released last week by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that many firms are changing the way they pay and operate to cope, but warned that labor shortages could undermine broader economic growth and called for new workforce measures to improve the pipeline for recruiting and training new craft workers.

“With the construction industry in most of the country now several years into a recovery, many firms have gone from worrying about not having enough work to not having enough workers,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer for the Associated General Contractors. “These shortages have the potential to undermine broader economic growth by forcing contractors to slow scheduled work or choose not to bid on projects, thereby inflating the cost of construction.”

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