The U.S. unemployment rate is remaining low at 4.8%, but the construction industry has nearly 200,000 positions unfilled across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The problem especially apparent on job sites, where pressure has increased on foremen, project managers and developers.
The construction industry is a victim of its own success. Many workers exited the industry after the downturn, looking to find immediate employment in the wake of a housing crash. The relatively quick upturn, fueled by low interest rates, has left the industry struggling with a greying labor pool and huge demand. Subcontractors are swamped with work, and according to the Urban Land Institute, the labor shortage in urban, suburban, and rural areas is pushing back some projects by months. The financial challenges of the labor shortage have become so pronounced, it’s forcing more and more builders towards luxury projects to help recoup the added cost of delays