As Labor Day approaches, the annual Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Workforce Survey reinforces an industry-wide fact: There is a significant shortage of available craft workers in the United States.
The survey, which received 1,608 responses from AGC members, shows that 70 percent of those companies are already having a hard time filling hourly craft positions. Only nine percent said they aren’t having problems filling positions, which also includes salaried and hourly office and field jobs.
A lack of candidates is especially troublesome since 69 percent of those surveyed said they need to expand their craft hiring in the next 12 months. According to the survey, the five toughest positions to fill are carpenters (58 percent of companies have trouble finding them), bricklayers (53 percent), electricians (53 percent), concrete workers (51 percent) and plumbers (50 percent).
The average age of craft workers is 47. There is expected to be a shortfall of 2 million craft workers by the year 2020.
“At least in the state of Arizona, Career and Technical Education is starting to get a second wind,” Sundt Craft Workforce Development Manager Sean Ray said. “But we’re really far behind. So the work’s going to be there. Are we going to have qualified people is going to be the main question.”
A total of 74 percent of respondents said their local pipelines for supplying well-trained craft personnel were either poor or fair. In the retention category, 43 percent said they use customized learning and development programs to keep the craft workers they have.
For information on a career with Sundt, please visit https://www.sundt.com/careers.