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How Serious Is the Construction Labor Shortage?

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As a contractor, you understand the value of having a skilled workforce under your employ to ensure that contracts are satisfied as construction projects transform from ideas to fully realized structures, which is why the ongoing labor shortage has caused significant unrest among construction professionals. For the lucky few that have faced very few struggles finding workers, it’s important to understand that approximately 80 percent of construction firms have reported difficulties filling hourly and craft positions. The construction industry workforce is primarily composed of workers under these classifications.

“Workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry,” said Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) CEO Stephen E. Sandherr in a recent statement. Whether you’re feeling its effects or not, the construction labor shortage is a significant problem that can increase your chances of being burdened with a claim or dispute. When you don’t have enough manpower to complete a project on time, you’re oftentimes the one stuck footing the bill.

In this article, a Jacksonville construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will emphasize the severity of the construction labor shortage and explain its impact on contractors. If you are currently embroiled in a dispute resulting from the lack of skilled labor, consult a Jacksonville contractor lawyer for assistance with resolving your dispute. Whether it’s mediation, arbitration, or litigation, our lawyers have the experience and expertise to help you reach a favorable outcome.

A Growing Problem for a Behemoth Industry

How serious is the construction labor shortage? Consider this: the AGC is lobbying federal officials to increase funding for both career and technical education programs. Ideally, this will help stimulate more interest in construction industry jobs by giving more people the opportunity to develop valuable career skills. They are also requesting that federal lawmakers allow more immigrants to enter the workforce, since many of these individuals are keen to find work in construction. The construction labor shortage is a growing problem in one of the nation’s largest industries. Worker shortages are largely uniform across every region in the United States, which means this problem isn’t being relegated to less populous or less wealthy areas. It’s affecting everyone. And to make matters worse, approximately 75 percent of respondents from an AGC survey expect the problem to get worse over the next year. 

Where Are the Qualified Candidates?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are currently around 300,000 construction industry job vacancies. This number is expected to balloon to more than 747,000 by 2026. Unfortunately, many candidates are made ineligible by a lack of experience or the inability to pass a drug test. Attempts to find and retain qualified candidates have largely stalled. About two-thirds of construction firms have already reported raising the base pay for their workers. 30 percent are also offering bonuses and incentives to sweeten the deal. The drawback to better wages and more incentives? Increased labor costs are being passed down to residential and commercial owners.

While there is still no clear solution for the construction industry’s labor shortage, contractors can protect themselves by partnering with a Jacksonville construction lawyer to ensure compliance with all relevant construction-related laws. 

If you would like to speak with one of our Jacksonville construction lawyers, please contact us today.

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.