At least four out of five construction firms are expected to hire more workers this year, says a just-published job forecast survey.
The survey of more than 1,300 construction companies nationally, conducted by the Associated General Contractors of Washington and the Atlanta-based Sage Construction and Real Estate, also reveals worries about hiring prospects.
About 78 percent of respondents said their firms were currently having a difficult time filling positions, with 66 percent saying they expect it will remain hard throughout the rest of the year to find qualified workers.
“Staffing changes are affecting project costs and completion times,” notes the 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey. “One third of respondents said costs were higher than expected, and a slightly higher share of firms are now putting higher prices into new bids and contracts.”
The survey adds that many firms are adapting a variety of different strategies in response to the tight labor market: “Nearly 60 percent raised base pay rates, while many also increased or introduced incentives, bonuses, and benefit contributions.”
Construction employment was up in 43 or the 50 states at the end of last year, according to December Department of Labor statistics, with more than 258,000 new openings filled in November.
By Garry Boulard
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