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By Hannah West
October 3, 2016
Many industries took a hit during the recession several years ago, and construction was among the top punching bags. But as the U.S. economy has gotten back on its feet, the sector has witnessed healthy growth, marked by tens of billions of dollars spent on construction starts in major metropolitan areas like New York City and Dallas over the last year.
In fact, in 2016, there’s not so much a shortage of construction jobs as there is a shortage of qualified people to fill them. Firms are having a hard time finding employees with the technical education and experience to take on available roles. It’s a good climate for qualified individuals to score high-paying jobs in the industry.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the U.S. added thousands of new construction jobs from May 2015 to May 2016. Home Improvement Leads reviews which states are most promising for construction workers who want to land fulfilling jobs in the field.
The Golden State added 39,600 jobs during the time period in question. Green building interest in both commercial and residential sectors has certainly contributed to that. California firms are among those struggling to hire skilled workers. Many of the workers moved out of the state or found vocations in other industries during the recession. Plus, baby boomers retiring and tighter immigration controls means fewer people are taking advantage of the abundant job opportunities. Skilled construction workers who are considering relocating to a state with more opportunities, as well as students who are considering getting into the industry, should take the prospects that California offers into account.
Another sunny state tops the list with 29,400 jobs added within a year. But its struggles mirror those of California––a workforce shortage. In South Florida where the most projects are undertaken, a lack of qualified workers results in project delays and loss of revenue. Many workers are flocking to South Florida to fill these open craft worker positions, but the biggest shortages relate to project managers. South Florida firms are enticing skilled workers by boosting salaries and hourly craft position rates.
Georgia comes in third with 13,400 added jobs over the course of a year, and their complaint is similar: the lack of qualified work slows down projects, and firms are offering incentives and higher pay to get work on site. Two new sports stadiums account for a combined 35,000 of those jobs, so the increase may be partly circumstantial, but the need is still there, and construction workers looking for better salaries may take advantage of the opportunities.
Even the Big Apple is feeling the effects of a work shortage thanks to the skills gap. Firms are offering higher pay, so if there are any construction industry workers with dreams of living in the big city—now’s the time to act.
Hawaii comes in fifth with 6,700 added construction jobs—the highest percentage of growth. Texas continues to have a healthy employment rate for the sector. Other states with growth worth mentioning include Iowa, Nevada, and Idaho.
North Dakota lost a hefty 10.5 percent of construction jobs and Kansas dropped 5.6 percent. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, and Wyoming are also not ideal options for anyone seeking construction jobs at the moment.
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