Through the first quarter of 2018, employers have been looking to fill an average of nearly 225,000 construction jobs each month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By Andrew Soergel ,Senior Reporter Publication: US News and World Reports
THE UNITED STATES HAS A building problem.
The country that paved one of the most expansive highway and transportation systems on the planet, that festooned a riverside between Maryland and Virginia with ornate marble and sandstone statues, columns and monuments in the creation of the nation’s capital, that introduced architectural marvels to the world ranging from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Empire State Building to the Space Needle, is now dogged by an ailing construction industry.
A common thread has waylaid the building of a much-anticipated senior community in Oro Valley, Arizona, forced Exxon Mobil to retool the construction of what would be the world’s largest ethylene plant in San Patricio County, Texas, and spurred Home Depot into investing $50 million into skills training programs over the next 10 years: there simply aren’t enough construction workers to keep up with demand.
“For better or worse, business is good for us. They’re beating down the door,” says Tyson Conrad, the president and founder of Tampa-based Goliath Construction Consulting, which serves as a national recruiting and consultation outfit geared specifically toward the construction sector. “We’re in a place now where you have a booming economy and booming construction industry and lack of manpower. So people have gotten creative and desperate, essentially.”
Conrad works with clients across the country, many of whom seem to be telling the same story. With the economy chugging along through what is now its second-longest recovery to date and with demand for more affordable housing options as high as it’s been in years, Americans’ desire for new homes, buildings and facilities is through the roof.