It’s not a secret that the US demand for construction workers has gone up, however the number of construction workers over time has dwindled - mainly due to more people attending college and the lack of funding for vocational training and technical education programs.
A 2017 AGC survey asked 1,500+ construction companies in 2017 about the construction shortage and ways they have improved their efforts to recruit and retain workers. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers:
92% of construction companies have less than 20 employees and work on small projects, but are still using challenging hiring methods.
70% of the companies said that they have difficulty filling craft positions and carpentry was the toughest to fill.
47% of firms have increased their overtime hours to cope with the worker shortage
50% of firms reported the increase of base pay for workers
24% of firms are starting to provide incentives and bonuses to attract workers
Even though companies and contractors are still using conventional ways to find workers, the industry is now starting to adopt technology more than ever.
Here are some of the growing construction technology categories:
Mobile apps that can be used anywhere
Connected tools and equipment
Autonomous heavy equipment
Drones / Robots
AR and VR systems
3D printed buildings
There are still a few roadblocks out there to adopting these solutions, mostly centered on the challenge of implementing new business routines. However, LABER is seeing contractors becoming increasingly more open to solutions that easily fit into their standard day-to-day operations.
In a closed study of 50 small/mid-size construction companies around the greater NYC metro area, we've found a few interesting stats when it came to employment tech:
90% were open to trying something new if it provided an immediate benefit for them.
83% wanted a solution they could use both in the field and/or in the office.
50% were concerned with a tech solution being difficult to use or understand.
While adoption can take time, it's important to ensure the tech solution is specific to the construction industry and ensures maximum ease-of-use. Younger workers and other industry professionals can make a massive impact to their business by showing business owners new ways to drive all different areas of their project operations.
LABER's Workforce App is connecting America's construction workforce with a simple, easy-to-use mobile application that provides companies and contractors with a tool to tap into the full potential of the qualified workforce in their area. Similarly, LABER helps take workers' off paper resumes - providing transparent, industry-specific professional profiles that enable them to easily find construction work.