The construction industry has not recovered from the 2008 recession, where more than 1.5 million residential construction workers were laid off. Many of them never came back, yet in the U.S., houses are now being built at a rate of 1.2 million a month, more than double the rate in 2009. There’s an obvious dilemma in construction right now––there are more jobs than there are workers.
One solution construction companies have used to attract and retain workers is increased salaries and wages. The New York Times reported in April that this trend is evident throughout the entire spectrum of skills and occupations in the industry, from supervisors and high-skilled workers to the lowest-earning, non-skilled workers.
But the current projected rate of construction growth––by some estimates a 4.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) by 2023––just doesn’t match up with the labor shortage impacted by an aging workforce and a younger workforce that doesn’t see much appeal in the trade.
All these factors make it imperative that companies come up with other benefits and incentives to fill future positions. While construction projects show no sign of slowing down, vacancies created by retiring workers aren’t being filled fast enough. To sustain continued growth in the industry, appealing to younger workers is absolutely essential.