By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
The Associated General Contractors of America’s latest workforce survey reveals that 77 percent of construction industry job candidates either lack the necessary skills or cannot pass a drug test.
A total of 1,266 individuals coast to coast representing all sizes of companies and all sectors weighed in on the survey during July and August.
According to AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson, 93 percent of construction firms surveyed reported they have open positions they’re seeking to fill. Among those firms, 91 percent are having trouble filling at least some of those positions.
“Construction workforce shortages are severe and having a significant impact on construction firms of all types, all sizes and all labor arrangements,” Simonson said. “These workforce shortages are compounding the challenges firms are having with supply chain disruptions that are inflating the cost of construction materials and making delivery schedules and product availability uncertain.”
More than half (55 percent) of Missouri respondents indicated that their construction firm’s headcount has increased over the past year. Estimating personnel are the most needed salaried positions, according to Missouri firms, followed by project managers/supervisors and engineers.
Regarding the direst needs for craft workers, 91 percent of Missouri construction respondents identified concrete workers and carpenters as the most sought-after tradespeople, followed closely by cement masons and laborers.
Missouri’s surveyed response to the problem of filling available construction industry positions of all types tracked closely with the national statistic. Seventy-six percent of Show-Me State respondents identified job candidates’ lack of transferable job skills and inability to pass a drug test as the greatest barriers to hiring.
A total of 89 percent of those responding from Missouri companies of all sizes said their firm has increased base pay rates and/or benefits in the past 12 months. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed who work in Missouri reported schedule delays due to longer lead times, material shortages or both. More than half (54 percent) said upcoming projects have been canceled, postponed or scaled back due to increasing costs.
For more detail on the AGC’s latest construction industry workforce survey results, see https://www.agc.org/news/2022/08/31/construction-workforce-shortages-risk-undermining-infrastructure-projects-most-contractors-struggle.