Although the construction industry in the US has been booming for a while, skilled workers are still in high demand. According to the department of labor, there were 273,000 construction jobs that needed to be filled, and every month new jobs continue to emerge. Because of this labor shortage, compensation in the construction industry is also going up. Increases in infrastructure spending and commercial construction projects have fueled the industry’s growth. To meet this high demand, firms will need to find new ways to appeal to younger construction talent.
One reason there is a shortage of skilled labor is that there remains a number of unfair stereotypes about construction jobs. People think construction work is hard work that doesn’t require much skill. They also think the pay and benefits are subpar. This has dissuaded many young professionals from pursuing careers in construction. In reality, the pay is above average, and the work requires a high degree of skill, education, and experience. This means there aren’t as many people developing the skills needed to perform construction work. Meanwhile, many older professionals are nearing retirement age, which also contributes to the need for more skilled workers.
How to Increase Interest
In places such as California, Houston, and Nashville, construction professionals are especially in high demand, as firms find it harder and harder to find people who have the right skill set. The best way to address the shortage of skilled workers is to get young people interested in construction work again. This might involve reaching out to universities, community colleges, and job fairs where you can interact with young people and talk to them about the advantages of working in the construction field. You can also reach out to local high schools. Having more courses that involve the skills used in construction work is a great way to stir up interest in the construction industry.
A Need for More Women in the Construction Industry
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor indicate that less than 3% of construction workers are women, yet construction firms with more diverse teams consistently outperform those with less diverse teams. Even just doubling the number of women in the construction field would just about eliminate the skilled labor shortage. Unfair stereotypes play a role here as well. Many women assume they won’t be accepted into the workplace or won’t even be considered for the job. Most firms, however, would gladly hire women who have the right skills. Meanwhile, many professionals in the field are not used to working alongside women, so creating better ethics and sexual harassment training programs will also help allow more women to enter the construction workforce and smooth the transition.
The construction market has to contend with an increasing shortage of skilled professionals. While this creates an opportunity for job hunters, young professionals, and women, it also means that construction firms will need to rethink their hiring and recruiting strategies.
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