US Construction Worker Shortage to Top Half a Million in 2023

On Thursday (2-9-23), the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported that, according to the association’s proprietary model, the construction industry will need to attract an estimated 546,000 workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2023 to meet the demand for labor. ABC is a national construction industry trade association that represents more than 22,000 members.

According to ABC, the construction industry averaged more than 390,000 job openings per month in 2022, the highest level on record, and the industry unemployment rate of 4.6% in 2002 was second lowest level on record—higher than only the 4.5% unemployment rate observed in 2019. National payroll construction employment was 231,000 higher in December 2022 than in December 2021.

In a statement to accompany the report’s release, ABC Chief Economist Dr. Anirban Basu said,

“With nearly 1 in 4 construction workers older than 55, retirements will continue to whittle away at the construction workforce. Many of these older construction workers are also the most productive, refining their skills over time. The number of construction laborers, the most entry-level occupational title, has accounted for nearly 4 out of every 10 new construction workers since 2012. Meanwhile, the number of skilled workers has grown at a much slower pace or, in the case of certain occupations like carpenter, declined.”

Greater details about ABC’s model can be found in the full article.

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