A full 80 percent of the respondents to a national industry survey reported having trouble hiring craft workers; in Wisconsin specifically, the number was even higher – 82 percent — while 60 percent said they were struggling to hire for salaried positions.
Those figures were reported on Wednesday by the Associated General Contractors of America. AGC officials said the numbers are just the latest sign that the industry’s persistent shortfall of skilled labor isn’t going away soon.
“Labor shortages in the construction industry remain significant and widespread,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “The best way to encourage continued economic growth, make it easier to rebuild aging infrastructure and place more young adults into high-paying careers is to address construction workforce shortages.”
As contractors try to cope with the labor shortage, 25 percent of the firms surveyed said they are relying more on labor-saving equipment and 25 percent reported turning more to virtual construction methods. Separately, 47 percent of the respondents reported that they have built higher prices into their bid offers and 44 percent said already-underway projects are costing more. Forty-six percent said it’s taking longer than originally scheduled to complete projects and 27 percent reported they are listing longer completion times in their bids.
More than 2,500 contractors were polled in the AGC’s survey. In Wisconsin, the results were drawn from responses from 38 companies.