A major increase in construction jobs has employers struggling to find enough crew workers to handle projects. In March, reports showed a plunge in construction opportunities. Now, a little over a month later, the issue is a lack of available workers to fill an influx of construction job openings. The problem has become so significant that some businesses have had to decline more projects than they accept in order to minimize risk.
More surprising is that the number of applications for construction jobs have dropped. Some theorize that covid is to blame.
More likely, it has to do with a few probabilities:
- There has been a large increase in older workers who are retiring, opening up a plethora of available opportunities.
- There has been an explosion in both new EV plant projects and a surge in nonresidential building projects and off-site modular construction.
- A lack of training opportunities for potential laborers is a likely cause, according to reports from both NPR and Forbes
While Congress provided nearly $1.2 billion in the infrastructure law's new National Infrastructure Project Assistance discretionary grant program for projects across the country, no specific funding was set aside for training potential workers.
In March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a total of 384,000 jobs available in the construction industry, with 287 labor separations leaving just under 100,000 openings.
Learn more about the construction workforce this month, when NIBS releases an update to the 2021 Built Environment Social Equity Survey.