By most measures, this is an ideal time to be a construction tradesperson. An analysis of government job data by the Associated General Contractors of America reveals that the industry’s unemployment rate of 4.5% is the lowest in 11 years. Conversely, the average hourly wage for construction— $29.06 —is up 2.3% from last year and nearly 10% more than the average non-farm, private-sector job.
Nevertheless, the long-simmering shortage of skilled trade labor continues to plague contractors of all sizes, specialties and locations. The third-quarter Commercial Construction Index, produced by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, found that 60% of contractors are having difficulty finding skilled workers. The current pinch, exacerbated in part by hurricane-driven demand in Texas and the Southeast, will only tighten as projected upward trends in commercial and infrastructure construction clash with a rising tide of baby-boomer retirements. Read More Here