Construction Firms Struggling with Worker Shortage

Washington, DC, September 7, 2021-Construction firms are struggling to find enough qualified workers to hire even as they continue to be impacted by pandemic-induced project delays and supply chain disruptions, according to results from the 2021 Autodesk-AGC of America Workforce Survey. 

“Of the 2,136 responses received between July 7 and August 13, 40% of firms had added employees in the past 12 months, vs. 34% that had reduced headcount. Ninety percent of respondents have open hourly craft positions; of those, 89% report having a hard time filling some or all positions. For salaried positions, 62% of firms have openings and 86% of those report having difficulty filling them. The most common reason for difficulty, cited by 72%, was ‘available candidates are not qualified,’ followed by ‘unemployment insurance supplements are keeping workers away,’ cited by 58%. 

“In the past 12 months, 73% of firms raised base pay rates, compared to 38% in the August 2020 survey and 66% in the August 2019 survey. Most firms reported delays in completing projects due to: longer lead times or shortages of materials-75% of respondents, shortages of workers (their own or subcontractors’)-61%, or delivery delays-57%. Rising materials costs have affected 93% of respondents, including 36% who reported absorbing all additional costs. Three out of five reported that upcoming or expected projects have been canceled, postponed, or scaled back due to: cost increases (51% of respondents), lengthening or uncertain completion times (26%), or changes in demand/need (22%). More positively, 28% reported there are more projects to bid on or projects have been expanded in scope. For 46% of firms, the volume of business already matches or exceeds the year-ago level, but 9% expect that will require 1-6 months more, and 26% expect a delay of more than six months. Only 6% expect to furlough or terminate employees in the next 12 months, vs. 74% who expect to add or recall employees.”

Related Topics:Associated General Contractors of America