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Industry leaders ask for government help as trades shortage worsens

AGC asks for more funding for education and increased immigration to fill gaps.

August 29, 2019 |
Industry leaders ask for government help as trades shortage worsens

Photo: Pixabay


Construction industry leaders are asking the federal government for help in easing the worsening shortage of workers.

According to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Autodesk, 80% of construction firms say they are having difficulty filling hourly and craft positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 300,000 vacancies in the construction industry this June. The industry is projected to need 747,000 more employees by 2026.

To fill these positions, AGC is asking federal officials to increase funding for career and technical education programs, and to allow more immigration. “Workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO.

In order to attract applicants and retain workers, about two-thirds of contracting firms said they have raised the base pay for craft workers. Nearly 30% are offering bonuses and incentives. Some firms are also investing in technology to take over some workers’ duties.

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