FMI Warns Craft Labor Shortage May Slow Construction

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fmi-logoA recent FMI survey called for increased employee recruiting and retention efforts by construction companies to combat a craft labor shortage that may slow construction.

One of the reasons for the high demand in craft labor is the oil and gas industry. By FMI’s estimates, 10 percent of the U.S.Construction workforce will focus on the oil and gas industry by 2017.

For the “Craft Labor Recruiting and Retention 2015 Survey Report,” FMI surveyed members of the Construction Personnel Executives Group. Top executives at the largest contract firms in the U.S. took part in the survey.

According to the respondents, the top five trade workers in demand for the next five years are projected to be:

1) Craft Helpers
2) Laborers
3) Operators (heavy equipment)
4) Carpenters
5) Ironworkers (reinforcing)

According to the report, not all of the positions high in demand are short in supply. The top five positions that are expected to be the most difficult to fill are:

1) Operator (heavy equipment)
2) Welder (boilermaker)
3 Carpenter
4) Pipefitter
5) Ironworker (reinforcing)

“Overall, there’s an increase needed in skilled trade workers of more than 10 percent thoughout the next three to 10 years,” says Ken Wilson, director for FMI, citing highlights from survey partipants. One large construction company says, “Our current hiring forecast shows a need for 8,500 additional craft workers by 2017.”

The second significant contributing factors to the high demand are construction firms’ plans to increase the amount of work the company self-performs. Currently, surveyed firms self-perform less than 40 percent of construction projects. However, 65 percent either have plans to, or are considering, plans to increase self-performed projects.

To download a copy of the 2015 survey report, “Craft Labor Recruiting and Retention,” click here.

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