A recent blog in the New York Times is only one indicator that the last five years have been totally devastating on the skilled workforce in this country. The unwritten, but widely known, 20% plus unemployment in the construction sector is only the preface to what is to come.
Many construction companies were not able to retain their skilled workers when the recession hit and construction stopped on a dime. Many of those workers moved from the east coast to more active markets in order to survive. A number of them took oil field jobs from Montana down to Texas where they could make a living for themselves and their families.
Now that both the residential and commercial construction sectors are recovering, many firms are finding that their skilled workers have disappeared. The article in the New York Times also points out that even though construction has begun to recover, salaries are stuck at recession levels, further contributing to recruiting and hiring difficulties in their markets.
In a 2008 study of the construction industry workforce, the Associated General Contractors of America predicted that there would be a shortage of 180,000 skilled workers in the industry by 2018. If the current signals are correct, then that shortage might occur earlier than 2018 and be deeper than predicted.
What are you seeing in your markets?