PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Jitters Amid U.S. Job Improvement

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Comment | More

Construction unemployment in the U.S. has dived to a seven-year low, sparking another call for increased training to head off labor shortages during the industry's recovery.

Six million people now work construction in the United States, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Members of those growing ranks are also logging more hours, prompting AGC to repeat its call for expanded training and its warnings about labor shortages.

The unemployment rate in construction last month dropped to the lowest April level in seven years, as contractors added 32,000 workers.

Women in construction Ken Simonson
OSHA (left); AGC (right)

U.S. construction employment reached a five-year high in April, but the drop in unemployed former construction workers "may make it harder to keep adding employees,” said AGC's Ken Simonson (right).

“It is heartening that all categories of construction employers added workers—not only in April, but over the past 12 months,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist.

“Moreover, contractors have been adding to workers’ hours as well as hiring more employees.”

Who Grew

Construction employment totaled six million in April—a gain of 189,000, or 3.3 percent, from a year earlier. Meanwhile, aggregate hours worked rose by 3.8 percent, Simonson noted.

Residential building and specialty trade contractors added a combined total of 13,100 workers in April and 107,900 (5.0 percent) over 12 months.

Nonresidential construction—building, specialty trades and heavy and civil engineering contractors—grew by 18,600 employees last month and 81,300 (2.2 percent) since April 2013.

The employment boom continues a trend underway for several years. In March, AGC reported that all construction segments had added jobs in the prior 12 months.

"The rate of construction hiring has outpaced job growth in the overall economy for the past year," Simonson said then.

OT Overload?

The unemployment rate for workers actively looking for jobs and last employed in construction declined from 13.2 percent in April 2013 to 9.4 percent in April 2014.

Construction work
OSHA

Without more training opportunities, construction employers will struggle to fill their workforce, said AGC chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr.

The unemployment rate for construction workers has plummeted by more than half since April 2010, when it was 21.8 percent. During those four years, the industry lost 1.1 million workers and gained fewer than 450,000.

“There is a limit to how much overtime workers can put in, and companies will be seeking to expand employment even faster if the volume of projects continues to grow,” Simonson added.

“But the huge drop in the number of unemployed former construction workers may make it harder to keep adding employees.”

Call for Training

Part of the decline comes from the lack of young blood to replace retiring workers—a perennial problem that AGC blames on a "sharp drop in the number of secondary-level construction training programs over the past several years.'

The organization urged federal, state and local officials to adopt measures to help schools, construction firms and local trade associations to start and expand training programs for future construction workers.

“If elected and appointed officials don’t act soon to improve the quantity and quality of training opportunities for future workers, many construction employers will struggle to find the workers they need,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.

“It would be tragic if the construction industry can’t fill good-paying jobs because of a lack of trained recruits.”

Filling the Gap

Several programs have stepped in to fill the industry's recruiting, training and placement gap.

Construction worker
© iStock / korayhoylu

Aggregate construction hours worked increased by 3.8 percent in the past 12 months, while the workforce increased by 3.2 percent, AGC reported.

The newest is the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades' (IUPAT) Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Program (PAT-VP), which offers free training in commercial and industrial coatings and other skill areas to veterans and transitioning service members.

In addition, a coalition of construction employers and associations pledged in February to provide 100,000 "good-paying jobs" for U.S. veterans in the next five years.

In addition, the long-running Helmets to Hardhats national, nonprofit program connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and career opportunities in the construction industry.

   

Tagged categories: Associated General Contractors (AGC); Commercial Construction; Construction; Hiring; Infrastructure; Residential Construction; Worker training; Workers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Strategic Materials Inc.
 
Crushed Glass Abrasives
 
Competitively priced, high-performing crushed glass abrasive. Available today. Toll-free 1-866-775-6226
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
CS Unitec
 
Remove Coatings, Corrosion & More!
 
For metal & concrete. Scalers, scabblers, deck hammers & scarifiers. Safe for hot work zones. Call our specialists: 800-700-5919.
Demo videos at www.csunitec.com.
 

 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
 
KTA-Tator Training Course Opportunities
 
• IACET Authorized Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Provider
• Live Basic Coatings Inspection Courses
• Customized/Private Courses
• Online/self-paced curriculums
Contact: Tiffany Kelly at 412-788-1300 x217
 

 
Bullard
 
Upgrade with the Bullard GenVX
 
Click here to learn how you can get a GenVX Helmet and Win.
 

 
Axxiom Manufacturing
 
Schmidt Improves Conversion Kits
 
Schmidt's conversion kits turn out-of-date blast pots into high quality, efficient blasters. Quick, easy to install with step by step instructions.
Call 1-800-231-2085
 

 
NLB Corporation
 
NLB Sure Shroud: Greater Protection and Flexibility
 
NLB’s Sure Shroud’s lighter weight and flexibility reduces operator fatigue and offers unmatched protection against high pressure hose ruptures. 10k to 40k psi rated.
 

 
SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
 
http://www.sspc.org/
 
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !
 

 
WEFTEC Show
 
WEFTEC® 2017. Register Today.
 
WEFTEC® 2017 – Celebrating 90 years in its birthplace, Chicago, is THE event for water professionals, industry experts, and innovators from around the world.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us