Construction Labor Shortage Persists

More than two-thirds of construction firms are having trouble finding skilled hourly workers — a shortage that threatens to slow a boom that’s driving economic gains in 43 states, a new survey finds.

The survey of nearly 1,500 construction firms taken by the Associated General Contractors of America found an acute shortage of hourly craft workers. Although the shortage is not as bad as last year when even more firms had trouble finding skilled hourly workers (79 percent compared to 69 percent this year), the problem persists, the association said.

Carpenters, electricians, roofers, plumbers and concrete workers are particularly hard to find, the survey found. And firms say there aren’t enough skilled workers in the pipeline to fill what they see as an ongoing demand.

The association has called on states to revive vocational education to encourage high school students to enter building trades.

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