The construction labor shortage might be a crisis for builders and contractors, but in the eyes of economists, it’s a sign of a healthy, thriving economy with many job opportunities.
In March, CNBC reported that construction easily led job creation in February, creating 60,000 jobs in that month alone.
The sudden bump in construction jobs coincided with a strong overall February jobs report. In March, job creation slowed for many industries including construction. Yet construction jobs rebounded in April as the industry added another 17,000 jobs.
The spring’s job boom follows a year of strong job growth in 2017. As Paul R. LaMonica for CNN Money observed, “2017 was a great year to be employed in the construction and manufacturing sectors.”
The rest of the year is likely going to continue to see strong job growth.
The labor shortage has been keenly felt by many builders. About 22% of the labor force left the industry in the years following the recession. “Every month there are literally 100,000 jobs in construction that are advertised and vacant,” said NAHB executive director Jerry Howard. “We just don’t have the bodies.”
For those who return or enter the field for the first time, a job change could be very profitable. After all, they are virtually guaranteed a position.