For contractors, finding workforce and meeting the ever-high demands of residential housing and commercial space remains a challenge, but market analysts say the industry’s economy will remain stable at least through 2019. In his speech, during the final segment of the Rocky Mountain Construction Summit, senior economist Rich Wobbekind listed several leading trends in the construction sector:
The recent tariffs on aluminum & steel have raised more concerns in the industry. In response to this, developers & contractors have purchased steel as a group hoping to prevent the immediate effects of these new tariffs.
The higher tariffs imply that hiring will slow down significantly in the construction sector which already suffers inadequately skilled labor. The increase in the cost of other construction inputs like lumber & concrete is causing even more worry.
According to the economist, hiring in the construction industry had hit a 3.3 percent increase in a year as of March 2018; and the national unemployment rate is around 5 percent— the lowest the industry has ever recorded.
And the situation is worse for Colorado. The state recorded the lowest construction industry employment rates last year managing only a total of 7,780 job hirings. This result is a 5.1 percent rise from what they recorded in 2016.
What’s more, the looming shortage in the number of workers has led to an extension in the working hours which has, in turn, raised safety & injury concerns in the industry.
Wobbekind also reported that a whopping 91% of contractors had challenges finding new employees and 58% are looking to hire more workforce in the coming six months. And because it is difficult to find qualified workers, 90% of contractors are worried about the skill level of their teams.
To counter the labor shortage, Contractors are increasingly adopting the use of modular & prefabricated components that can fit in the factory. Plus, more established contractors are increasingly buying smaller companies to acquire qualified laborers.
The economist advised that the most reasonable solution to this is to find a long-term remedy to the labor shortage. And the best way to do that is to change our mindset about labor force right from high-school level. He also suggested that the United States follow the same trend as Europe by channeling youngsters into jobs while in high school level.
The industry must now find new workers to meet the growing demand for construction workers in the United States. To meet the rising expenses of the sector, contractors may need to seek small business cash advance bad credit. And while we may be glad that the industry’s economy has not depreciated, we may be headed for a worse future if not action is taken.
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