Construction industry reports low unemployment, warns of workforce shortage

A Thursday report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reported unemployment rates for construction workers fell in June.

According to the announcement, the unemployment rate in the industry is the lowest it has been for June since 2001. With this in mind, industry expert speculate that there is actually a shortage of qualified individuals for available positions.

“Expanding job opportunities throughout the economy make it increasingly difficult for contractors to find experienced construction workers,” Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said. “This scarcity shows up in record workweeks for craft workers and flattening of employment totals despite higher construction spending.”

Leadership of the association points to the lack of student exposure to the career options within construction. AGCA CEO Stephen Sandherr says there is a need to address and rebuild the national status of vocational education nationwide.

Compared with May of this year, employment numbers across the construction industry saw little change, although June of this year saw an increase of 4.2 percent as opposed to this time last year.

“Until now, all segments of the industry have added workers at a faster rate than the overall economy," Simonson said. "But some projects may be delayed or put on hold without new measures to recruit and prepare future workers.”

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