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Construction Employment Slips By 20,000 In May As Supply-Chain Problems And Record Materials Cost Increases Plague Nonresidential Contractors

June 4, 2021

Many Construction Firms Also Report Difficulty Finding Qualified Workers to Hire as Some Remain Reluctant to Return to Work amid Child Care Challenges and Elevated Unemployment Supplements

Construction employment declined for the third time in the past four months in May as nonresidential contractors coped with lengthening and unpredictable delivery times that limited their ability to start or complete projects, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. Association officials added that many contractors report they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire as some people remain reluctant to return to work while their children are learning from home, or they are collecting elevated unemployment supplements.

“Steadily worsening production and delivery delays have exceeded even the record cost increases for numerous materials as the biggest headache for many nonresidential contractors,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “If they can’t get the materials, they can’t put employees to work.”

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