By the end of 2021, the construction industry had 430,000 unfilled positions—and the situation isn’t looking any better for the foreseeable future. Over the next two years, construction is projected to face an additional 1 million openings. And while this critical shortage of skilled workers predated COVID-19, the global pandemic has introduced problems that have only exacerbated the situation, including supply-chain disruptions and scheduling delays.
Unlike the pandemic, which has sparked widespread efforts to find and implement solutions, however, the worker shortage in many ways remains an underappreciated crisis with the potential to stall the economic boom following the end of COVID-19—even as construction companies are poised to benefit from the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill signed into law this past November. The question remains: How can the construction industry fulfill demand and provide quality work without quality workers?
Construction Executive talked to leaders across the industry about the challenges of the talent shortage and how construction can evolve to overcome them.