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Union Sector Reports Small but Prevalent Craft Worker Shortages, and Expects Growth

May 24, 2018

“Optimism about future job opportunities and market growth in 2018 and beyond remains high among union contractors, labor representatives and owner-clients – but at the same time, many remain concerned about a growing shortage of union craft workers,” reports The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) in a recent press release about the publication of the 2018 Union Craft Labor Supply Study. The study was conducted by TAUC and the AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council

According to the study report, over three fourths (78 percent) of survey respondents project growth in the construction and maintenance industry during 2018.  This is the same as last year but up significantly (58 percent) from two years ago.  Respondents project strong and increasing growth particularly in the South Central and Southwest Regions.

While two thirds of study participants reported a shortage of union craft workers during 2017, the vast majority of those participants reported that the shortage was small in size.  Only 17 percent said they had experienced a large shortage.  Many respondents reported a surplus or the right number of workers.  According to the study, shortages are most likely to be found in:   the manufacturing industry; in larger organizations; the Southeast, South Central, Mountain Northern Plains, and the Northwest Regions; and in the carpenter and millwright, roofer and waterproofer, iron worker, and electrician crafts.

The report also includes information about absenteeism rates, a perceived link between labor shortages and safety incidents, and more.

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