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Impacts of the Current Workforce Shortage in the Construction Industry and Beyond

This article has been republished with permission as an IRMI Expert Commentary.

It’s become common knowledge that today’s Construction industry is falling short in attracting and retaining a workforce that matches the complexity and demand of the current economic environment. There appears to be a distinct lack of human capital in the construction industry as whole, spanning from field labor and all the way up to management. The immediate effects of this shortage are already visible in troubled projects, troubled businesses, and rising insurance claims.

We will soon see this affect the upfront cost of construction and schedule, as contractors attempt to hedge the additional risk they are assuming by committing to project delivery in an uncertain labor environment. The longer term effects could even threaten the viability of our industry for future generations, and by extension our lifestyle, e.g. a depressed construction industry means limited new structures in which to live, work, and play, and current structures falling into disrepair. It’s no zombie apocalypse, but a slow decline could eventually weaken one of our most iconic American business models.

What are the factors that contributed to this situation? How can we address these issues and keep our industry thriving? Let’s take a look at the current status of our human capital, and consider some viable solutions to reboot the construction industry for a better tomorrow.

Download the full article here. This is part two in our article series focused on talent development and workforce shortage challenges. See part one, Justin Gress’s “Constructive Conversations: Talent development and building an empowered team”.

  • About The Author
  • P.E., CRIS, Operations Project Manager, Construction Risk Engineering, AXA XL
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