The Buffalo News' staffer Jonathan D. Epstein reports on the construction industry labor shortage in Buffalo, N.Y., a localized example of a nationwide phenomenon. Epstein writes:
"For the first time many can remember, there aren’t enough construction workers around Buffalo for everything that has to get done. From laborers, masons and painters, to electricians and plumbers, those with skills are in high demand and without a lot of backup, as they shuttle from one job to the next. And it may get worse next year.
It’s not just a local problem. More than four of every five member companies in the national trade group Associated Builders & Contractors say they are now facing a shortage of skilled labor. Across New York, the construction industry gained 21,500 jobs from October 2014 to October 2015, including 7,800 just since September."
In the meantime, about 40% of construction workers in New York state are due to reach retirement age within two years. In other words, the number of skilled construction workers available will be even smaller.