Around 80% of construction firms report having a hard time filling hourly craft positions, according to results from a survey conducted by software company Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Despite many firms taking a range of steps, from increasing pay and benefits to adding new training programs, the skilled labor shortage continues to impact most contractors nationwide.

“Workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. “However, construction labor shortages are a challenge that can be fixed, and this association will continue to do everything in its power to make sure that happens.”

Nearly three-fourths of the 2,000 survey respondents indicated it will continue to be hard or become even harder to find hourly craft workers over the next 12 months. One of the primary reasons contractors are worried about finding skilled workers is that they are skeptical of the quality of the pipeline for recruiting, according to the AGC. Forty-five percent of respondents said the local pipeline for preparing well-trained and skilled workers is poor and more than a quarter said the pipeline for finding workers who can pass a drug test is poor.

As a result of the labor shortage, many firms have boosted pay and compensation at their companies. Two-thirds of firms reported increasing base pay rates and around 30% report providing incentives and bonuses to attract craft workers. Additionally, almost half of the contractor respondents said they launched or expanded in-house training programs or involvement with career-building programs. Almost 30% of firms reported investing in technology to supplement worker duties and one in four firms reported using "cutting-edge solutions," such as drones, robots, or 3-D printers.

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