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Marcum report highlights skilled labor shortage

Marcum report highlights skilled labor shortage

NEW YORK — The U.S. construction industry continues to face a severe skilled labor shortage, according to

A surprisingly strong economy supported robust construction industry hiring in 2023, the report stated. Contractors have now added jobs in each of the past 10 months, and only once in the past two years, in March 2023, has industry employment declined during a month.

Despite still being about 500,000 jobs short of where employment would have been based on the pre-pandemic trend, the pace of industry job growth has returned to the late 2010s level.

This hiring would have occurred faster if not for ongoing skilled labor shortages.

“An average of 4.6 per cent of construction positions were unfilled over the course of 2023,” said , Marcum’s chief construction economist, in a statement. “That’s the second highest level ever, trailing only the 4.9 per cent average seen throughout 2022.”

While labor supply imbalances have improved in other industries, the continuing impact on the construction industry has driven up labor costs.

“Since the start of 2022, average hourly earnings for construction workers have risen at a faster rate than wages across all industries, and that dynamic should persist in 2024 as elevated demand for construction services, especially in certain areas and segments, bolsters the demand for labor,” said Basu.

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