The sounds of construction have returned but the skilled construction workers have not. Construction industry advocates say there’s a severe shortage of skilled workers nationwide- including in Florida.
In Florida, construction employment is down about 40% and across the country there are $1.4 million less people employed in construction than there were in 2007. These numbers reflect the volume of projects now in progress across Florida, but they overlook the shortage of skilled labor challenging construction firms throughout the state. According to the U.S. Labor Department, Florida’s construction sector is booming with 40,000 new jobs added in the past year alone – which is more than any other state. This shortage causes various challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining skilled workers and maintaining the high standards of safety and quality on a job site.
Obviously, most employers prefer to hire local workers, but unfortunately it’s becoming more common that their only option is to bring in talent from elsewhere; which could be costly. The Associated General Contractors of America want more funding for vocational education and more support for veterans to get training in construction related jobs. Local, state and federal governments could do more to increase the supply of qualified workers.