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Construction labor shortage expected to get worse

Published on August 9, 2019 by Rick Brisse

Contractors and subcontractors across the United States are dealing with a significant labor shortage, and it’s expected to get worse as time goes on.

According to a survey released by Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 80 percent of construction firms report they’re having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce.

Job openings in construction and extraction are projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Contractors are spending longer filling jobs and having fewer experienced workers to choose from,” Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist said. “It appears that labor shortages are not going away anytime soon.”

These labor shortage numbers may not come as news, but the negative effects are ongoing and widespread. Construction firms have reported major increase in injuries and illnesses, job site hazards, and the number of workers’ compensation claims.

According to AGC’s Labor Shortage Survey of 2019

Patrick O’Connor, Vice President of Risk Management and Counsel at the Walsh Group, knows leveraging technology is a must to combat the labor shortage.

“One of the biggest risks today is not leveraging technology or refusing to be an early adopter of the ‘next big thing,’” said O’Connor in the 2019 AGC/FMI Risk Management Survey. “There will be major technological disrupters in this market, and the company that’s slow to pick up on them is essentially diminishing its position in a very competitive industry.”

Managing Your Workforce with Technology

Using an industry-specific platform to digitize your operations can help you combat the labor shortage and its negative effects. Platforms like Assignar can help you manage your workforce and equipment efficiently to reduce downtime and optimize your scheduling. Assignar empowers your crews with safety, information, and communication at their fingertips with a dedicated field app. Moreover, having the latest tech can help you to attract new talent to your organization and take control of safety issues quickly.

TRACK

  • Upload pictures and expiry dates of all employee certifications in bulk. Assignar will notify allocators and operations managers when laborer’s certifications are about to expire or have expired. This will help prevent having non-compliant workers on the job site.
  • Crews can update their certification cards themselves from the fieldworker app.
  • Make keeping a log of your workers’ certifications and other certifications nearly effortless with automatic logging.

NOTIFY

  • All information updated in the app can trigger workflows based on the rules you set, so you can automatically notify the right person when action needs to be taken.
  • Receive reminders of items to action upon sign-in.

SCHEDULE

  • When scheduling crews and supervisors, Assignar makes sure they all have the required certifications (or any other compliance requirements) before you can allocate them to jobs.
  • The scheduler provides a clear picture of the status and location of your crews, so you can easily shift them around based on-site requirements.

See how you can get ahead of the labor shortage by digitizing your operations. Book a demo today.

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