ABC: Construction industry faces 650,000 labor shortage in 2022 | News

Washington, Feb. 23. 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal rate of hiring in 2022 to meet labor demand, according to a model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors.

“ABC’s 2022 labor shortage analysis sends a loud and clear message: the construction industry is in desperate need of skilled, skilled tradespeople to build America,” said Michael Bellaman, president and CEO of ABC. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in November and the COVID-19 aid stimulus package will pump billions in new spending into our nation’s most critical infrastructure, and skilled craftsmen are essential to effectively modernize roads, bridges, power generation and other projects across the countryside. More regulations and less freedom for workers make it harder to fill these jobs.

ABC’s proprietary model uses the historical relationship between growth in inflation-adjusted construction spending, taken from the US Census Bureau’s Construction Value Survey, and payroll employment in construction , taken from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, to convert projected increases in construction spending. in construction labor demand at a rate of about 3,900 new jobs per billion dollars of incremental construction spending. This increased demand comes on top of the current level of above-average job openings. Expected retirements from the industry, moves to other industries, and other forms of early separation are also factored into the model.

Based on historical job-to-job flow data from the Census Bureau, an estimated 1.2 million construction workers will leave their jobs to work in other industries in 2022. This is expected to be compensated by 1.3 million workers leaving other industries. work in construction.

“The labor shortage is the most acute challenge facing the construction industry despite weak spending growth,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “After adjusting for inflation, construction spending has likely declined over the past 12 months. As spending on the infrastructure bill increases, construction spending will rise, widening the gap between labor supply and demand.

“Another concern is the decline in the number of construction workers aged 25 to 54, which has fallen by 8% over the past decade. Meanwhile, the share of older workers leaving the labor market has skyrocketed,” Basu said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average retirement age in the industry is 61 and more than one in five construction workers are currently over 55.

“The shortage of skilled workers is an even more pressing issue,” Basu said. “Since 2011, the number of entry-level construction workers has increased by 72.8%, while the total number of construction workers has only increased by 24.7%. For reference, the number of electricians increased by 23.9% over this period, while the number of carpenters actually decreased by 7.5%. The number of construction managers only increased by 2.1%. More than 40% of the growth in the construction workforce over the past decade is comprised of low-skilled construction workers, who make up just 19% of the workforce.

“The roughly 650,000 workers needed need to quickly acquire specialized skills,” Basu said. “With many industries outside of construction also competing for increasingly scarce labour, industry must take drastic action to ensure future labor demands are met. .”

In 2023, the industry will need to recruit nearly 590,000 new workers on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand, and that assumes construction spending growth will slow next year.

“Now is the time to consider a career in construction,” Bellaman said. “Vocation offers competitive salaries and plenty of opportunities to start and grow in an industry that builds the places where we work, play, worship, learn and heal. ABC member contractors use flexible, skills-based and market-driven education methodologies to build a safe, skilled and productive construction workforce. This comprehensive approach to workforce development has produced a network of ABC chapters and affiliates across the country that offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and management programs, including more than 300 registered apprenticeship programs in 20 different professions. — to build the people who build America.

Click here to see ABC’s methodology in creating the Labor Shortage Model.

Erika Walter Associate Builders and Contractors (202) 905-2104 ewalter@abc.org

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Michael A. Bynum