O&MM Fabricator - September/October 2015 - (Page 57)

Construction Unemployment Falls to 14-Year Low as Employment Hits Highest Mark Since 2009; Data Point to Looming Worker Shortage, Officials Warn Despite the increase in July 2015, the con- struction industry's job growth has slowed while demand for construction remains strong; Association urges increasing the number of career and technical education programs as well as to take other steps. Construction employment in July climbed to the highest level since February 2009, while the number of unemployed workers with construction experience shrank to a 14-year low, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that the diminishing pool of available qualified labor may be having an impact on the industry's ability to meet growing demand. "It is encouraging to see construction employment rising again, but the industry could hire many more workers if they were available," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "The lack of experienced construction workers may be impeding the industry's ability to start or complete new projects. The recent acceleration in construction spending may soon level off unless the sector can draw in more workers with the right skills." Construction employment totaled 6,383,000 in July, the most since February 2009, but the total rose by only 6,000 in July and by an average of only 7,200 per month over the past five months, Simonson noted. The number of unemployed workers who reported last working in construction totaled 474,000, the lowest amount since 2001. "The sector's job gains in the past five months have been intermittent and relatively sluggish despite signs of accelerating demand for construction," Simonson said. "The latest Census Bureau data show the amount of construction spending is rising at the fastest rate since 2006, and there are several indicators-such as the steady increase in hiring of architects and engineers-that suggest demand for construction will remain strong, but contractors may have difficulty finding enough workers to take on all those projects." Overall construction employment rose by 6,000 from June to July, far below the monthly average of 19,250 between July 2014 and July 2015, Simonson noted. Meanwhile, employment at architectural and engineering services firms climbed by 3.6 percent since July 2014, suggesting that more workers are being hired to design future construction projects, the economist pointed out. Construction spending put in place-a measure of current industry activity-jumped 12 percent from June 2014 to June 2015, the Census Bureau reported on August 3. Association officials said that a number of factors are contributing to the shrinking pool of available labor, including the fact that many aging workers are retiring, while other workers who lost their jobs during the downturn left the industry for other sectors. They added that the lack of high school-level programs that expose students to construction as a potential career path means few graduates are pursuing choosing to work in the industry. "We are doing many students a real disservice by not telling them about how they can make a good living working in construction," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer, noting that the association's Workforce Development Plan calls for increasing the number of career and technical education programs nationwide. "The more options we give students, the more likely they are to succeed." To learn more about this topic, visit https:// www.agc.org/news/2015/08/07/constructionunemployment-falls-14-year-low-employment-hits-highest-mark-2009-data#sthash. Y0YGmqpl.dpuf. The information included in this article was taken from AGC of America's website, AGC.org. September/October 2015 * O&MM Fabricator | 57 iNduSTry NEWS WHAT'SHOT? http://www.agc.org/news/2015/08/07/construction-unemployment-falls-14-year-low-employment-hits-highest-mark-2009-data#sthash.yoygmqpl.dpuf http://www.agc.org/news/2015/08/07/construction-unemployment-falls-14-year-low-employment-hits-highest-mark-2009-data#sthash.yoygmqpl.dpuf http://www.AGC.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of O&MM Fabricator - September/October 2015

Message from Allyn Moseley
Message from Marbella Miller
NOMMA Network
NOMMA Educational Foundation
HIGH TECH CUTTING: WHAT IS STATE-OF-THE-ART NOW?
THE HOLY GRAIL OF WELDING: STEEL + ALUMINUM
Until recently, Tampa’s residential construction market had been mostly remodeling work. Now, multi-billion-dollar custom homes has business booming for Vasquez Custom Metals.
2015 Top Job Gold Winner for Forged Fabrication: Make it Like This, But Different
4 rules for hiring & retaining your best employees
Intentional networking: 9 effective and efficient steps to success
Supplier Members
New NOMMA Members
Industry News
Media
Products
People
25 years later, an ornate Gazebo is finally used for its intended purpose.
Products & Services Marketplace
Index of Advertisers

O&MM Fabricator - September/October 2015

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