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Construction Industry Faces Huge Worker Shortage in 2022


By Greg Zimmerman Design & Construction
construction workers

The supply chain crisis and the shortage of skilled labor have meant facility managers are forced to do more with less, now more than ever. And unfortunately, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), it looks like at least one area of skilled labor will be facing a massive shortage through the rest of the year. 

ABC, a national industry trade association, forecasts that the industry will experience a shortage of about 665,000 construction workers in 2022. This prediction is based on the organization’s analysis of the current state of the industry, as well as a proprietary model that forecasts labor needs based on a number of factors, including inflation, construction spending, and several more. 

An estimated 1.2 million construction workers will leave their jobs in 2022, accounting for much of the shortfall. As well, the shortage of skilled labor is reaching crisis levels as well. According to ABC, entry-level construction laborers increased 72.8 percent, while the total number of construction workers is up only about 25 percent. This means there is a gap in skills required. 

“ABC’s 2022 workforce shortage analysis sends a message loud and clear: The construction industry desperately needs qualified, skilled craft professionals to build America,” said Michael Bellaman, ABC president and CEO, in a news release. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in November and stimulus from COVID-19 relief will pump billions in new spending into our nation’s most critical infrastructure, and qualified craft professionals are essential to efficiently modernize roads, bridges, energy production and other projects across the country. More regulations and less worker freedom make it harder to fill these jobs.” 

Greg Zimmerman is editor, FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine.

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