The Future of Construction: Finding Skilled Workers in a Shrinking Talent Pool.

Skilled trades worker shortages are on the rise, but there are solutions! Check out our latest blog post for more info.


The construction industry is facing a crisis as it struggles to find enough skilled workers to fill positions. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the number of skilled trades worker vacancies is projected to exceed half a million in 2023. This shortage affects the entire industry, from small-scale construction projects to massive infrastructure developments, and its effects can be felt throughout the economy. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this crisis is happening, the cost of the shortage, and what can be done to find skilled workers in a shrinking talent pool.

Why Generation Z Should Care

Baby boomers and Generation Xers have historically dominated the construction industry, but as they approach retirement, there are not enough young workers to replace them. As a member of Generation Z, you may be wondering why this matters to you. The answer is simple: the construction industry plays a vital role in our economy and infrastructure. Without skilled workers, critical infrastructure projects such as highways, bridges, and water treatment plants may be delayed or cancelled. This can lead to higher costs and lost opportunities for economic growth. In addition, the shortage of skilled workers can lead to higher prices for construction projects, which can affect the availability and affordability of housing and other essential infrastructure.

The Cost of Skilled Trades Worker Shortages

The shortage of skilled trades workers is not just a problem for the construction industry – it affects the entire economy. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the shortage of construction workers costs the US economy $60 billion per year. This includes the direct costs of higher construction prices, delays in construction projects, and lost opportunities for economic growth. In addition, the shortage of skilled workers can lead to higher prices for housing and other goods and services that rely on construction. The longer the shortage persists, the greater the economic costs will be.

Innovative Solutions to the Skilled Trades Worker Shortage Crisis

To address the skilled trades worker shortage crisis, innovative solutions are needed. One solution is to promote apprenticeships and other training programs to young people. These programs provide hands-on training in the skills needed for construction and other trades, and can lead to well-paying jobs. Additionally, employers can offer on-the-job training and mentorship programs to attract and retain workers. Another solution is to focus on diversity and inclusion in the industry, by attracting more women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups. This can help to broaden the talent pool and address the shortage of skilled workers.

Finding Skilled Workers in a Shrinking Talent Pool

Despite the challenges presented by the skilled trades worker shortage, there are steps that employers can take to find the skilled workers they need. One strategy is to expand recruitment efforts beyond traditional sources, such as job fairs and online job boards. Employers can also reach out to high schools, community colleges, and vocational schools to find candidates who are interested in the trades. In addition, they can partner with labor unions, trade associations, and other organizations to connect with potential candidates.

Another strategy is to offer competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain workers. This can include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and other incentives. Employers can also offer flexible schedules and opportunities for career advancement, which can help to retain workers in the long term.

The bottom line

The skilled trades worker shortage is a growing crisis that affects the construction industry and the entire economy. As Generation Z enters the workforce, it’s important to understand the impact of this shortage and what can be done to address it. By promoting apprenticeships and training programs, focusing on diversity and inclusion, and expanding recruitment efforts, employers can find the skilled workers they need to keep critical infrastructure projects on track. As the shortage persists, the costs to the economy will continue to rise, making it essential to find innovative solutions to the problem. By working together, employers, educators, and policymakers can help to ensure that the construction industry has the skilled workforce it needs to build a better future.

Verified Facts and Figures:

  • The construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled trades workers, with over half a million vacancies projected for 2023 (Associated Builders and Contractors).
  • The shortage of construction workers costs the US economy $60 billion per year (National Association of Home Builders).
  • The number of women in the construction industry has increased by 94.5% over the past 30 years, but they still represent only 9% of the workforce (National Women’s Law Center).
  • The average age of a skilled trades worker in the US is 55 (ManpowerGroup).
  • By 2025, the US is expected to have a shortage of 2.4 million skilled workers in the manufacturing sector (Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute).

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