Constructor - November/December 2016 - 17


SIMONSON SAYS

Workforce Shortages Persist
BY KEN SIMONSON
CHIEF ECONOMIST, AGC OF AMERICA

CONTRACTORS CONTIN U E TO FACE

challenges filling a variety of hourly
craft and salaried positions in much of
the country, although shortages appear
to be slightly less widespread than a
year ago, according to AGC of America's
2016 Workforce Survey. Most respondents
expect hiring to remain difficult over the
next 12 months, and they overwhelmingly
rate the local pipeline for supplying welltrained craft personnel "poor" or "fair."
In the latest survey, which AGC conducted among its members during the
summer and released on Aug. 31, more
than 1,450 respondents from nearly every
state rated the difficulty or ease of filling
22 craft positions and 11 salaried positions. More than two-thirds (69 percent)
of the respondents found it hard to fill one
or another craft job, while one-third or
more reported difficulty filling some salaried field positions (38 percent) or salaried
office positions (33 percent). In a similar
survey that AGC released in September
2015, 79 percent of respondents reported
difficulty filling hourly positions and 52
percent said salaried positions were hard
to fill (without specifying field or office
jobs).
As in 2015, the hardest position to fill
was carpenters - 60 percent of respondents
whose firms employ carpenters said they
were having trouble hiring more. In addition, 53 percent had trouble finding electricians, and 50 percent had difficulty hiring
roofers and plumbers. These percentages
were all slightly lower than in 2015.
The most difficult salaried slots to fill
were project managers and supervisors,
reported by half the respondents, followed
by estimating personnel (31 percent of
respondents whose firms employ estimators) and engineers (28 percent of firms
that employ engineers). These percentages
were also slightly lower than in 2015.
@Constr uctor Ma g

Three out of four respondents said
either that hourly craft personnel will
continue to be hard to hire (53 percent of
respondents) or harder to hire (21 percent).
Respondents have similar expectations
regarding salaried personnel: 43 percent
said hiring difficulties will continue and 18
percent said they will worsen. The combined percentages for these answers were
very close to the percentages in 2015.
Regarding the adequacy of the local
pipeline for supplying well-trained craft
personnel, 38 percent of respondents rated
the pipeline "fair" and 37 percent called
it "poor." Only one out of seven deemed
it "good" (12 percent) or "excellent"
(2 percent).
Because of the difficulty in filling positions, nearly half of the respondents said
their firms had increased base pay rates (48
percent for hourly workers, 43 percent for
salaried positions). One-fifth to one-quarter
of the firms provided incentives or bonuses,
and one out of five increased benefit contributions or improved employee benefits.
Firms are using a variety of methods
to improve and expand their labor supply. Nearly half turn to in-house training
(48 percent) or overtime hours (47 percent). More than a third of respondents
say their companies use subcontractors
(39 percent), engage with career-building
programs (37 percent), and work with
interns (35 percent). About one-quarter
use executive search firms, craft and/or
noncraft labor suppliers, while 18 percent
of respondents' firms rely on unions for
personnel.
Labor-saving techniques have grown
slightly in popularity since the 2015

survey. This year, 21 percent of respondents said their firms use labor-saving
equipment, tools or machinery, such as
drones, robots and GPS- or laser-guided
machinery. Fifteen percent engage in Lean
construction, 13 percent turn to off-site
prefabrication, and 7 percent use virtual
construction methods such as Building
Information Modeling.
To improve the pipeline for construction
workers, AGC of America has been lobbying Congress to modernize and add funding for the Perkins Career and Technical
Education Act, which may receive final
consideration in December. AGC is also
working with chapters and contractors to
strengthen local training and apprenticeship programs, and to publicize the high
pay and advancement opportunities that
construction offers.
◆

To view the results of the AGC 2016 Workforce Survey,
please visit http://bit.ly/2016AGCWorkforceSurveyResults.

N O V E MB E R / D E C E MB E R 2 0 1 6 | www.constructormagazine.com 17


http://www.bit.ly/2016AGCWorkforceSurveyResults http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - November/December 2016

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
CEO’s Letter
AGC’s CM-BIM Credential Program Turns Five
Simonson Says
Cultivate, Innovate, Accelerate at AGC’s 98th Annual Convention
One School, One Instructor, One Student, You: A Workforce Development Campaign
In Good Repair
‘Must-Have’ Technology Tools
Technology Toolbox
Project Collaboration Starts at the Top
Connecting Community and Commuters
2016 Software Services Guide
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
Final Inspection
Constructor - November/December 2016 - cover1
Constructor - November/December 2016 - cover2
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 3
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 4
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 5
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 6
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Editor’s Note
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 8
Constructor - November/December 2016 - President’s Message
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 10
Constructor - November/December 2016 - CEO’s Letter
Constructor - November/December 2016 - AGC’s CM-BIM Credential Program Turns Five
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 13
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 14
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 15
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 16
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Simonson Says
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 18
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 19
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Cultivate, Innovate, Accelerate at AGC’s 98th Annual Convention
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 21
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 22
Constructor - November/December 2016 - One School, One Instructor, One Student, You: A Workforce Development Campaign
Constructor - November/December 2016 - In Good Repair
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 25
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 26
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 27
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 28
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 29
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 30
Constructor - November/December 2016 - ‘Must-Have’ Technology Tools
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 32
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 33
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 34
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Technology Toolbox
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 36
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Project Collaboration Starts at the Top
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 38
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 39
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 40
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 41
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 42
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 43
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 44
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Connecting Community and Commuters
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 46
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 47
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 48
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 49
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 50
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 2016 Software Services Guide
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 52
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 53
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 54
Constructor - November/December 2016 - 55
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Products & Services Marketplace
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Index to Advertisers
Constructor - November/December 2016 - Final Inspection
Constructor - November/December 2016 - cover3
Constructor - November/December 2016 - cover4
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