Education, Outreach, and Awareness Are Possible Solutions for Construction Labor Shortage

October 17, 2017
Construction site
Photo: Pexels

The labor shortage affecting the construction industry started during the Great Recession, causing tens of thousands of workers to leave the industry for good. Other contributing factors include an aging workforce, with the average employee about a decade older tan those in the IT and marketing fields, a slowdown in immigration, and schools minimizing the trades' value as a viable employment path.

Brian Binke, president and CEO of Detroit-based construction-industry recruiter The Birmingham Group views the U.S. education system as a major contributor to the labor shortage, per CBS News' reporting. Binke said a "higher-education or bust" mindset has shifted many young people away from potentially fruitful career in construction.

Homeowners rebuilding after hurricanes in Florida and Texas and wildfires in California will face longer wait times and higher costs as a long-simmering shortage of construction workers nears a crisis stage. The number of unfilled construction jobs has reached its highest point since 2007, before the Great Recession, and it's likely to spike even higher in the months ahead in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

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