Construction employment up from last year in metro areas

Oct. 4, 2023
Finding qualified workers remains a struggle

Construction employment increased in 223 of 358 metro areas between August 2022 and August 2023, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of new government employment data. 

But AGC professionals say contractors are still reportedly having trouble filling positions with qualified workers. 

“Although construction employment is growing in most locations, contractors everywhere report they are having trouble filling positions,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Many more metro areas would have shown gains if there were enough qualified workers to fill the openings.”

Construction employment declined over the year in 79 metro areas and was unchanged in 56 areas. 

Association officials noted said that the results of a survey the association released earlier this month showed that one of the causes for construction labor shortages is that candidates often lack the skills needed to be hired.

They urged public officials to introduce more construction-focused programs in school and training settings to expose future workers to the hard and soft skills they need. They also urged lawmakers to reform the immigration system so people who want to immigrate to the country and work can do so in an orderly and lawful fashion.

“When an industry that pays an average of $34 an hour can’t find enough qualified people to hire we clearly need to rethink the way the country prepares future workers,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “In the meantime, we need to secure the border while allowing more people to lawfully enter the country to repair infrastructure, modernize the economy and build their own American dream.”

Source: AGC

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.