Colorado is currently enjoying an unemployment rate under three percent as of 2018. However, with so much of the population already employed, this has lead to labor shortages, especially in the construction industry. With no end in sight for construction labor shortages, what can be done when over 150,000 new construction workers are needed nationally through 2026?
In this two-part article, a Colorado Springs construction lawyer with Cotney Construction Law will discuss the reasons that construction, in particular, is being hit hard by labor shortages and the ways that these shortages are being combated.
Out with the Old, In with the New
A major issue causing construction labor shortages is that a lot of older workers are retiring and taking their years of experience with them. And when inexperienced workers are thrown into the same positions, the quality of work suffers. Additionally, younger generations, who try to avoid difficult blue-collar work, aren’t pursuing these vacant construction positions. Younger generations are also lead to believe that a four-year college is the only way to achieve success in modern times. Construction work and trade schools are discouraged. The construction industry will need to find a way to engage with young workers in order to revitalize its workforce.
The After-Effects of the Recession
When the Great Recession hit, many construction workers were unable to find jobs and subsequently left the construction industry for greener pastures. And while the construction industry has made a recovery, many people still don’t trust that a career in construction can offer them a stable future. Many potential construction workers have been scared off by the impact the recession had on the construction industry.
Failed Short-Term Solutions
The construction industry has, so far, failed to address these labor shortages. Construction firms have attempted to increase pay, bonuses, and benefits to no avail. Additionally, construction firms have tried to poach potential workers from other construction firms and neighboring states. Instead of directly addressing the issues causing labor shortages, construction firms are attempting ineffective, short-term solutions like mandatory overtime and reduced hiring standards.
For more information on construction labor shortages in Colorado, please read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.