Construction Work on the Rise, Which Means Construction Employment is on the Rise
Find Out What March & April Told Us About the Current Condition of the Industry
As the construction industry prepares for what everyone expect to be a very strong spring and summer season, newly-released statistics indicate that construction employment is on the rise, at least in most states.
According to the latest figures released by the Associated General Contractors, contractors in 38 states added jobs over the past 12 months. The AGC and the U.S. Labor Department regularly collaborate on analysis of key construction industry indicators. The latest numbers released in mid-April also show that construction employment increased in 24 states between February and March of this year.
AGC officials say those Feb-March stats are particularly impressive, given the harsh and extended nature of this past winter, right into March in many parts of the country including the Northeast. They suggest that these latest monthly gains would have been even higher if the winter hadn’t been so severe. Some believe that single-family homebuilders may have added fewer jobs than were forecast for March.
Labor shortage concerns.
While the resurgence in year-over-year increases in construction jobs is good news, AGC officials warn there is a lingering problem that could restrict growth. The industry lost a significant number of experienced workers over the course of the economic downturn, as people took whatever alternative employment they could find. Now that the need to hire construction workers is increasing, the pool of available candidates has shrunk.
The AGC says increasing training programs and other initiatives will be required to attract new workers into the industry. They have already taken the lead in this effort, announcing a new multi-point workforce development plan that addresses construction employment needs. But they say a concurrent effort is needed on the regulatory front, suggesting that officials at the local, state and federal levels all need to remove barriers and enact policies aimed at helping the industry attract more workers.
How’s your labor situation?
Is your construction firm at “full employment”? If not, how are you recruiting new people? This is a marketing effort as much as an HR initiative, especially when competition is so fierce for those in the existing pool of workers.
You not only have to find prospective employees, you have to convince them to choose your firm over others. It’s critical to market your company to the best of the experienced workers as well as the cream of the new crop of individuals interested in construction as a career.
It’s as important as marketing your firm to job developers and ensuring you look good when you bid on those jobs. You can’t do the work if you don’t have the resources. That includes the right equipment, and it includes the right people.
If you haven’t considered how your marketing team can help with employee recruitment, now is the time to get them on board. You may be surprised to learn about all the avenues open to you. And as you’re promoting your firm to potential workers, you’ll also be reinforcing your company branding and building awareness of the fact that you are on the move as the construction industry takes off.