Construction Industry Could Be Facing Worker Shortage

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Photo courtesy of

Following the collapse of the housing market at the end of the last decade, many construction companies across the country were forced to lay off workers as new development projects came to a standstill. Now, as the housing and commercial real estate markets pick up steam, these companies might have to deal with a completely different issue – a shortage of workers.

According to a recent story in the Houston Chronicle, the industry is facing a shortage of workers to keep up with the demand for new projects as employees age and more teens go off to college. In all, more than two million construction workers were let go during the most recent recession and experts believe many of those workers have since retired or found work in another field. Currently, 44 percent of the construction workforce is age 45 or older and 20 percent are 55 years of age or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

To help prevent a potential shortage, the Associated General Contractors of America, a top trade group which represents 30,000 companies, aims to draw more people into the trade by “establishing charter schools focused on technical training, starting nonunion apprenticeship programs and pushing for immigration reform.”  On immigration reform, the group wants protections for immigrants already in the country and higher caps on the number of foreign workers temporarily allowed into the U.S. to work on construction jobs.

The group made their announcement at event in Denver, one of the top 10 metro areas for construction hiring in the past year.

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