The construction industry is finally showing some substantial recovery, after many years of shrinking due to the recession. That’s good news for those looking to get into the industry. However, it is causing more than a few problems as far as labor costs go. Whether you’re already working in the construction field, or you’re looking to start a new career, you should be aware of the relationship between the current labor shortage and the rising cost of construction work in 2017. So, let’s take a look at what the labor shortage is doing to the market, and how you can take advantage of it.
Supply and Demand
Supply and demand is really doing a number on the construction industry at the moment. While the rising demand for new buildings is great for the industry, the problem is that growing demand for construction work is currently outpacing the rather sluggish growth rate for labor. As more people and businesses begin construction projects, the companies actually completing those projects begin to feel the pinch.
Firms desperate to hire more workers to finish their buildings are beginning to pay increasingly higher wages, in an attempt to entice more people to the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that average hourly earnings have risen by $0.20 an hour since February of this year alone, a trend that is expected to continue. This is great for job seekers who want to get into construction. For firm owners and operators, though, it’s a serious problem. The longer the skilled labor shortage continues, the more expensive the price of finished buildings will become for both the customer and the construction firm.
It is unknown exactly how long the labor shortage will last, as many companies struggle to attract enough skilled labor to keep costs low. One thing is for certain, though: this will definitely contribute to consistently higher construction costs throughout 2017.