February 21, 2024


Making a New Home

Despite 2020 layoffs, construction’s labor woes persist

2 min read

Dive Short:

  • Irrespective of large coronavirus-induced layoffs around the previous 12 months, construction workers are getting to be more difficult to obtain and far more costly, a new report discovered.
  • The industry is starting to expertise labor shortages as it bounces back from previous year’s pandemic-relevant downturn, in accordance to the 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis of development details from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Career Openings and Turnover Study. Position openings fell to 195,000 in December, equal to roughly 2.6% of readily available building positions, 
  • In addition, as contractors in some areas battle to obtain labor, wages have risen to history degrees. In January 2021, average hourly earnings of construction personnel reached their highest level ever, $32.11, and ordinary weekly several hours worked rose to their maximum level considering the fact that 2019’s third quarter. “This is what may well be anticipated from a sturdy financial system operating under ordinary situation, not 1 dealing with a lingering pandemic and elevated unemployment,” wrote Anirban Basu, author of the report and Marcum’s main design economist.

Dive Perception:

When the coronavirus pandemic slammed the U.S. previous March, contractors slashed their workforces as assignments slowed or stopped. More than 600,000 building employees were laid off or discharged in the month, additional than 50% previously mentioned the level registered all through the former worst month on record of April 2009. April 2020 was even worse, with 709,000 employees or 10.8% of the whole development workforce laid off or discharged.

Now that most construction jobs are back again across the state, contractors are looking at the industry’s persistent labor shortages return. Late very last yr, layoff action declined and in December, 13,000 much more development staff throughout the state give up their positions than ended up laid off or fired, a further indication of labor sector tightness. 

“When the pandemic started, some thought (and hoped) that the huge position losses observed in March and April would mitigate the experienced labor shortages that have disappointed building firms for several years,” wrote Basu. “That merely hasn’t happened to any significant diploma.”  

The report warns that, traditionally, some personnel who lose or leave their positions throughout a recession really don’t return to the sector. 

“According to the Census Bureau, additional than 60% of building workers who dropped their positions during the Wonderful Recession left the industry forever by 2013,” the report says. “Many of these workers uncovered positions in other industries, though other folks retired altogether.”

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