In October 2021, 45% of residential contractors reported major labor shortages, and across the board, the construction industry anticipates higher labor costs in the coming year than they have seen in the last five years, according to Forbes. Though some industry leaders are struggling to attract and retain employees, others are reporting an increase in trade workers during COVID thanks to an influx of applicants who lost their previous jobs because of shutdowns.
Some companies saw significant growth in 2021 with a stronger workforce, but only a small share of new hires presented relevant experience or offered talented labor. As a result, company leaders are creating extensive development programs with training and courses to get newcomers up to speed.
In research done by Grant Farnsworth, president at the industry research firm The Farnsworth Group, 45% of residential contractors reported labor shortages in October 2021. Typically, construction firms see higher rates of labor shortages in the fourth quarter, but this year is exceptionally high.
Across the board, the industry anticipates higher labor costs during the next 12 months than they have seen in the last five years, with every trade anticipating a big jump from third to fourth quarter. The trades that require the most expertise and licensing are the ones that have been the hardest to fill in the most recent months.