Seventy-one percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2016; as contractors expect a range of public and private markets to grow according to the AGC’s 2016 Construction Outlook. The survey asked 1,580 construction firms across the country to respond to a series of questions about labor conditions, business costs and overall market forecasts.
With the majority of construction firms optimistic about 2016 there are still significant factors that could hamper 2016 growth. More than half of all respondents say the industry’s skilled worker shortage continues to impact their business in a negative way. This is an issue that hampered growth in 2015 because of an older workforce retiring and a new generation not entering at the rate to back-fill openings.
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In response to these difficulties, 49% of responding firms say they have increased base pay to attract better workers. 30% have provided better incentives/bonuses. Although this may help some firms find quality workers in the short term, the actual pool of unemployed skill workers is still shrinking. If the industry truly wants to fix the skilled worker shortage then there needs to be an investment made into training and developing a quality workforce to keep up with future growth and a shrinking workforce.
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The Associated General Contractors of American 2016 Construction Outlook Survey can be found here.
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