Despite continued industry growth, the construction workforce shortage remains one of the most significant threats to the success of the industry. According to a survey conducted by Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), few firms appear to be immune.
With the global population set to hit 10 billion by 2050 – and 80 percent of firms reporting a hard time filling hourly craft positions – how will we build the necessary 13,000 buildings per day to accommodate that future growth?
The shortage of labor is already impacting construction firms’ bottom line, but firms are making investments in solutions that matter. From creating smarter ways to work in order to gain efficiencies to developing people and talent – the industry is evolving to cope and meet the demands of the future.
Cause and Effects of a Construction Workforce Shortage
The primary cause of the construction workforce shortage is the shrinking pipeline of new and qualified talent.
In the short term, effects are showing up in construction compensation, training, and operations. To incentivize workers, the majority of firms are taking some combination of actions to boost pay, add new benefits, and invest in new or expanded construction training programs.
Longer-term consequences of the construction workforce gap is likely to be more significant. Firms will have to look for ways to augment the workforce with solutions that streamline workflows. Technology that reduces non-optimal tasks, improves data sharing and speeds up decision making will play an ever-greater role. This will also alter the nature of how work is achieved, freeing up workers to focus on execution rather than administering workflows.
If left unaddressed, construction workforce shortages could undermine the growth of the construction industry and the broader economy. Firms can only stretch schedules and alter costs so much, and if the issue dampens demand, that could undermine broader economic growth by sidelining investments and postponing infrastructure.
Though the task can appear daunting, some in the industry are getting creative. The following solutions combine construction training and technology and have the potential to mend the construction workforce shortage.
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