Eighty-three percent of construction firms reported trouble filling craft-worker positions, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) last year. Contractors are still struggling to deal with the labor shortage.
From April 2006 through January 2011, nearly 2.3 million construction jobs, more than 40 percent, were wiped out. As of last month, the construction sector was still more than 1.3 million jobs short of its bubble-era peak, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson told WSJ that the lengthy stretch was simply too long for many workers to hold out and too deep to attract any new workers.
“I think the older workers quit altogether,” said David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told WSJ.
“Beyond that, I’ve heard anecdotally that many went to be truck drivers. We don’t have a good sense.”
The Census Bureau plans to release data on job-to-job flows, an in-depth look at how workers move between industries or out of the workforce, but it’s still in development.