Fast Growing Construction Industry Affected by Shortage of Labor in the U.S.


Published Date : Aug 27, 2015

There has been a constant growth in the construction of commercial buildings and residential properties in the United States over the past few years. On the other hand, the construction industry in the United States faced lot of problems due to shortage of workers. Currently, labor shortage is delaying many projects across all areas of the U.S. This has resulted in rising process of the new developments. Lately, many construction companies had to discontinue their construction projects due to labor shortage. This has badly affected the country’s construction industry and economy.

The year 2000 observed major real estate crash in the country. As new construction projects entered the market in 2012, spot labor shortage was recorded. A steady recovery in commercial and residential construction projects was seen in the following years. According to Jerry Howard, the CEO of National Association of Home Builders, around 70% of residential property builders recorded a shortage of carpenters. Further, as per the survey conducted by Associated General Contractors, around 86% of the commercial property builders recorded a shortage of salaried workers. There was a shortage of workers who are paid on hourly basis. 

During the downfall, many workers left the construction industry and joined oil industry as factory workers, and even drivers. There has been an improvement in the housing starts by 11.3% this year. First half of 2015 recorded a rise in the construction industry by 9.7%. The shortage of workers in the construction industry has pushed labor costs. As per the Labor Department, the annual average hourly earnings rose to 2.6% in July, as compared to the U.S. workers, which was around 2.1%. Irrespective of the downfall in the construction industry, the in-demand specialist workers such as electricians and plumbers expect pay hikes. 

Nowadays, the commercial builders are taking support from computer modelling techniques, drones, and GPS technology, to capture images of the construction sites, without investing in many workers.