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An average-growth analysis applied to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures by the Associated Builders and Contractors shows the construction sector will need to find 430,000 more workers than were employed last year and perhaps as many as 1 million under a higher growth rate scenario.

The ABC study backs up recent findings from other groups that show a labor crunch is in the making for construction this year. For instance, the 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis of construction data released earlier this month found that despite coronavirus-induced layoffs, construction employees are becoming harder to find and more expensive.

As the industry bounces back from pandemic-related downturns, contractors in some regions are struggling to find labor and wages have risen to record levels, the Marcum report said. In January 2021, average hourly earnings of construction employees reached their highest level ever, $32.11, and average weekly hours worked rose to their highest level since 2019's third quarter.

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