Help Wanted: Construction Labor 2022

Construction Labor

The construction industry may be sailing into “the perfect storm” this year. A combination of factors may impact construction labor in 2022. Construction Dive says, “From a huge influx in public spending…vaccines…and continued social changes, here are the top trends impacting construction labor in 2022.”

Construction Labor Trends To Watch

We’re wooing high school seniors in an effort to flip negative perceptions about careers in skilled trades and construction work. This is not the kind of process that delivers immediate results. In addition to recruiting, cultural awareness will be key to every company’s ability to get and keep talent.

Attitude Adjustments Are Critical

Workers need to feel valued. It’s time to stop joking about it and become the flagship for a changed environment in-house. Otherwise, you’ll be good-old-boying and laughing all the way to bankruptcy.

Employees want steady, good-paying jobs. They also want respect, women and minority initiatives, and a culture that values them and their families. They want a career with a future. Construction labor will take lower-paying work closer to home. Maybe jobsite transportation is something to consider. Childcare and family day programs are in your future (and the future is now).

More Work, More Challenges, More Vaccination Confusion in 2022

The $550 billion earmarked for infrastructure improvements will call for even more workers, exacerbating the construction labor shortage. Wages may increase. Public projects will take priority and pay more, so private projects may drop off the radar.

There will be even more pressure for unvaccinated workers to get vaccinated. The confusion about regulations continues despite January 13’s Supreme Court ruling blocking the vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers. Construction managers “find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they try to facilitate the discussion between their workers,” said Construction Dive. Watch for public – and some private clients – to attempt enforcing their own vaccination requirements in 2022.

One thing we want to see this year is more work. Construction Monitor is the number one source for generating leads based on building permit data. This year, build your business and start by contacting Construction Monitor.

Your Construction Business: Building Your Own Talent Pool

construction workers

The time to address the labor shortage issues impacting your construction business was yesterday. But’s it’s never too late.

We say on-the-job education and training are the advantages of a career in construction. But are you ready to put a plan in motion to train and develop construction business professionals for your company?

Preparing Your Construction Business for Attitude Adjustment

“If you train them, they will stay.” This isn’t necessarily true if your work environment isn’t more employee-retention oriented. Business reporter Leslie Shaver says if you don’t develop a culture that encourages retention, you may be training employees for your competitors.

To cultivate this new culture, you need to focus on current company culture. Your employees should be aware that training for new technology is available to everyone; not just new hires. Training programs’ advantages are:

  • Commitment to training – Daily training is expensive and time-consuming. Management and staff must be 100% invested. Consider getting creative with work/shift schedules.
  • Reskilling/upskilling as a construction business imperative – But most of us don’t know how to do it.
  • Specialized skills gaps can be filled  – New and current employees can take this opportunity to develop critical construction business skills during your recruiting/retention program.
  • You and your management team already know who the “right” employees for training are – An employee that already has soft skills but has never demonstrated an interest in improving company processes or even personal development may not be the right candidate for training.
  • You can train to what your company needs most – The most in-demand skills are:
    • Automated equipment operation
    • Carpentry
    • Construction equipment operation
    • Electrical
    • Machining
    • Plumbing/pipefitting
    • Welding/soldering

Schedule regular reviews to evaluate the training program and its participants and consider outside help, says Shaver. You may want to invest in:

  • Developing trade school outreach strategies
  • Partnering with building products manufacturers
  • Skilled trades education at the high-school level
  • Working with organizations that specialize in skills development

Construction Monitor Marketing

We offer data analytics that can generate business for your company. Of course, our marketing professionals want to “sell” you our services but they also want to educate – train you – in the most productive use of our information.

We have the tools you need to develop your marketing strategy. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Should Construction Industry Unvaccinated Workers Pay More for Insurance?

unvaccinated workers

It’s another incentive plan for construction industry unvaccinated workers.

What didn’t work:

  • Free transportation
  • Gift cards
  • Onsite educational sessions
  • Onsite vaccination clinics
  • Paid sick leave day-after vaccination
  • Paid time off for vaccination

Construction industry companies are now considering health plan surcharges for unvaccinated workers. Maybe this one will work.

Construction Industry Unvaccinated Are Workplace Safety Risks

The idea is, if allowed to smoke onsite, the health of other workers would be jeopardized. That would increase employers’ health plan expenses. Unvaccinated employees can unknowingly expose co-workers to COVID-19 or the delta variant with the same results; more illness and higher health plan costs.

The surcharges plan faces a lot of unanswered questions:

  • Employers cannot ethically offer an incentive that could be considered coercion. Is the surcharge a coercive incentive?
  • How long do you give workers to get vaccinated before initiating the surcharge?
  • If it is classified as a “health-contingent wellness program,” the plan would be “legal.” Otherwise, does this plan violate the HIPAA or Affordable Care Act rules for premiums consistency?
    • If the surcharge program is a health-contingent wellness program, do employers need to offer a “reasonable alternative standard?”
      • Reasonable alternatives could be video or seminar on the dangers of remaining unvaccinated.
    • Will the surcharge plan be considered an “activity-only” or “outcome-based” wellness program?
  • Will some employers charge $25 per-paycheck while others charge $50?
  • Will the surcharge deadlines coincide with open enrollment?

Some believe the surcharge will fail to incentivize construction industry workers. The number of construction workers that don’t participate in health plans would be unaffected, so… They could remain unvaccinated if they choose.

Another argument is the surcharges would prejudicially favor management and higher-income workers because research shows vaccination rates are higher among educated and higher-income personnel. The rates would be disproportionately high for lower-wage workers.

Mandates appear to be the best option for a lot of construction industry projects. This poses its own set of questions:

  • If employers discover a “fake” vaccination card, are they legally bound to report the criminal activity to the FBI?
  • Is onsite testing a better option or a bigger headache?
  • Is requesting proof of vaccination a violation of confidential medical records?
  • What constitutes verification of vaccination?

And now…

  • What about booster shots?
  • What else can you do?

You can continue to research informative online newsletters (including Construction Monitor) and other construction industry organizations’ press releases; Associated General Contractors news, etc. You may want to assign a team responsible for vaccination information and other wellness updates.

Meanwhile, we hope your marketing team utilizes our building permit data for lead development. Contact Construction Monitor for ideas.

How Construction Business Managers Compete for Workers

construction business managers

Competing for construction business is something we know about. Most of us have a plan for winning bids and lowballing our competitors without compromising quality or safety. Did you ever think you’d be competing for workers?

Labor Shortage Crisis for Construction Business Industry

We lost out on Gen X skilled trades
and we’re partly to blame. –
David Mineer

The construction business is not the only industry struggling with finding and retaining talent. The current worker shortage has been called a national economic emergency. But the monthly turnover rate in other industries is almost half that of the construction industry.

It’s been a bit of a problem for quite some time: Construction industry worker numbers have been dwindling. Skilled trades have had a bad reputation as a low-income, uneducated career choice. It took us too long to respond to that issue.

It’s Not All About the Money

Paying more is the easiest and the hardest way to entice and retain talent, according to a Los Angeles construction company founder. But you must not appear as desperate as you actually are. And it’s getting even harder to pay those higher salaries.

The reservation wage, the lowest average wage Americans without college degrees will accept for new jobs, has increased by 26%
over the past year, to $29.56…
Construction Dive

One million construction workers lost their jobs to the 2020 pandemic, but only 80% are returning. To keep up with demand, AGC (Associated General Contractors) says we need to hire 430,000 workers in 2021 and a million more over the next two years.

New-age employees are interested less in money and more in companies that offer worker-friendly, human-centric company cultures. They want goal-oriented environments that have:

  • Bonuses/reward system
  • Career advancement
  • Career training
  • Collaborative project management approaches
  • Company culture of honesty and integrity
  • Flexible schedules
  • Pride in construction as a career

Construction Monitor’s customized business permit data isn’t all about the money either. (But we believe sharing leads that lead to more money for you is great, too.) We can help you develop marketing promotions and lead generation.

The power of information is yours. Ask our marketing pros how it can work for you by contacting Construction Monitor.

Construction Workers and Mental Health

construction workers and mental health

If you’re working on a rooftop or skyscraper scaffold, you are tethered. If you’re on the ground, you wear a hardhat. What protection is available when you suffer from depression on the job? Construction workers are more likely to die by suicide than a jobsite fall.

Everybody knew, but nobody would talk about it.
Michelle Walker, on growing up in a construction industry-town

Construction Workers and Suicide

The industry with the highest suicide rate is Mining, Quarrying/Oil and Gas Extraction. Construction ranks second. Construction remains male-dominated despite our efforts to diversify hiring, so the suicide rates are:

  • Females 9.4/100,000 workers
  • Males 45.3/100,000 workers

It’s not that we don’t want to deal with mental health issues; it’s more of a lack of awareness among managers, supervisors, and construction workers themselves. Because most companies are safety-conscious and actively promote safety awareness, it helps to classify mental health as a safety risk.

“When you look at it from risk management, you can create the business case…it can benefit the business and everybody in the business by paying attention to it,” said Michelle Walker of SSC Underground, an Arizona boring and excavation company.

Her company holds a training session on how to facilitate mental health conversations. It includes how to recognize suicide warning signs; information that is valuable at work and home.

The construction industry is adapting its culture to appeal to a new generation of workers. New-age employees seek human-centric workplaces. They want to work in a “culture of caring.”

What Can YOU Do?

We need to prioritize mental health wellness. You don’t have to be a CEO to initiate a committee to develop mental health awareness in the construction industry.

Post mental health resources on the jobsite. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. (Almost) everyone has a cellphone. If you can communicate by messaging, send the best mental health apps for 2021 to construction workers.

Other ways to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention include:

  • Bracelets
  • Emails
  • Handouts
  • Hard hat stickers
  • Moments of silence to acknowledge construction workers that died by suicide
  • Quarterly toolbox talks
  • Speakers
  • Videos

Business permit data can be presorted for specific geographic areas, demographics, competitors, and more. We do the work; you put the information to work. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Construction Workers and COVID-19: Are We High-Risk?

COVID in the construction industry

If you work outside and are six feet away from others, are you at risk of contracting COVID-19? You wouldn’t think so. But the new-and-improved variant seems to be contagious if someone in another state sneezes.

Lack of consistent data is a problem. OSHA has logged every work-related COVID-19 case and fatalities but won’t release the 2020 data until November 2021.

Seeking COVID-19 numbers, Michigan grouped construction and manufacturing industries together. The result showed construction/manufacturing was the second largest workforce affected by COVID-19. But Illinois tracked construction separately from manufacturing and revealed there were 205 COVID-19 outbreaks within the manufacturing sector and only 10 in construction. Washington state showed higher COVID-19 rates among construction vs. other industries.

Massachusetts grouped manufacturing, construction, and distribution centers/warehouses together and found only nine infection clusters out of 7,100 statewide.

A construction project in Ohio vs. a jobsite in Texas – where you’re five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 – plays a part in risk factors.

Yes, Construction Workers Are High-Risk

Construction workers smoke more than other workers, which means their resistance to respiratory illness is lower. And for every long-timer construction professional, there are several transient job-hoppers onsite. That means implementing consistent protective procedures to lessen the risk of contagion is more difficult.

The construction industry is an aging workforce, and the pandemic targets older people. The COVID-19 hospitalization rate for people ages 40-49 is three times higher than people 18-29.

No, Construction Workers Are Not High-Risk

When you factor in age, pre-existing medical conditions, and other risks, 62% of workers across every industry are at high risk for COVID-19. Sixty percent of construction workers are at higher risk. That means construction work employees are at a lower risk than employees in other occupations.

At-Risk or Not, We Must Do What We Can To Stay Safe

All we can do is to continue encouraging and maintaining healthy workplaces and project sites. Appoint a safety and health administrator at each jobsite and encourage management to develop flexible sick leave policies. For more information, check out the information and links on the CDC website.

Keep your business development opportunities healthy with building permit data analytics. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Aging-Out Re-Emphasizes Need for More Construction Workers

construction workers

We emphasize technology and investing in it for better project management. But we need humans to build homes and commercial properties. Construction workers’ median age is 41, based on 2019 survey data. That’s a contributing factor to the current construction workers shortage.

Construction Workers Declined During Office-Jobs Push

For many years, it was a cultural thing in our country to steer our kids toward the college path. Despite the earnings potential of working in the trades (to say nothing of the burdensome student loans), young people were encouraged to avoid construction work. The career track leading to construction was almost completely devalued.

The fairly recent cultural concept that manual labor is not a good job is an important contributor to what will soon be an aging-out-of-the-workforce situation. Construction workers must be physically healthy to do the work, and the statistics support the claim that we need to recruit younger workers.

In addition to 41 being the median age of construction workers:

  • First-line supervisors’ median age is 46.
  • Midwestern construction workers average under 38 years of age.
  • Supervisor helpers had the youngest median age; 30.
  • U.S. East Coast construction workers tend to be the oldest.

The AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) is spearheading recruiting drives and also asking President Biden to discontinue unemployment pandemic supplements for construction workers. While half our states agreed the unemployment program is disincentivizing U.S. workers, several states restored the unemployment benefits.

Construction Is Essential

AGC’s “Construction is Essential” program focuses on attracting, training, and retaining construction workers. They are seeking federal funding for career and technical education programs as well as partnering with community colleges and technical schools.

The push to recruit is timely because we need our 40-something workers to share skills and information with new-hires. “You need to fill [those positions] while some of the folks are still there so that they can help transfer what they know to the next generation of workers,” said Brian Turmail, AGC’s vice president of public affairs & strategic initiatives at the Associated General Contractors of America.

You Can Be Your Community’s Construction Authority

You can coordinate recruiting and public speaking events to share the need for construction workers now. You can also write your own blogs and newspaper articles. Information-sharing is a way to building your company’s brand and also finding employees during a workforce shortage.

Call 800-925-6085 (international 001-435-586-1205) for more information. We also offer Live Chat.

U.S. Construction Industry Winners (and Losers)

construction industry

We’ve officially put 2020 behind us, but the damage control is still very real for many of us in the construction industry. Some people said the deadly virus only affected those who were aging, frail, or in poor health. That’s not true. All of us were/are at-risk for COVID and all of us have been affected by it.

The same people are saying the pandemic only affected construction industry companies that were aging, frail, or in poor health. That isn’t necessarily true either.

How the Construction Industry Fared: Pandemic 2020

March 2020 marked the unofficial beginning of the pandemic, and in the 10 months that followed, Texas lost 35,600 construction industry jobs, with Houston losing the majority: 24,500 jobs. New York came in second place followed by Florida and New Jersey.

Seasonally adjusted, construction industry employment for the year dropped in 34 states. Vermont had the largest percentage of jobs lost since the pandemic; twenty-three percent (3,400 jobs).

“AGC (Associated General Contractors of America)…said demand for construction will continue to suffer until the coronavirus is under control,” says Joe Bosquin, construction industry reporter. The AGC “urged federal officials to enact measures to help stem additional job losses in the sector. These new measures should include new federal investments in infrastructure, backfilling depleted state and local construction budgets, and moving quickly to forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans issued last year.”

However, 15 states and D.C. saw jobs increased since the onset of the pandemic: Virginia was the big winner with 10,800 jobs added. Utah and Alabama followed. Alabama also had the highest percentage (6.4%) of jobs gained for the entire year.

States With Highest 2020 Percentages Employment Losses

  1. Vermont
  2. New Jersey
  3. Delaware
  4. North Dakota
  5. Iowa
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Louisiana
  8. New York
  9. Nevada
  10. New Mexico
  11. Ohio

States With Highest 2020 Percentages Employment Increases

  1. Alabama
  2. Utah
  3. South Dakota
  4. Virginia
  5. Maine
  6. South Carolina
  7. Idaho
  8. Wyoming
  9. Kentucky
  10. Missouri

Timing Is Everything

Within the last 12 months, 2,097,370 building permits were entered throughout the United States. Your business-building professionals at Construction Monitor say timing is everything in a competitive construction industry. (And the construction industry has always been competitive.)

The construction companies that will be winners in 2021 will take advantage of the information we offer. If you want the tools that build success, contact Construction Monitor today.

All-Inclusive: U.S. Construction Industry

construction industry

When you hire a minority employee, you’ve often hired someone with a greater ability to adapt. This is a person that has likely overcome adversity and may have better “survival skills” than most. That’s an advantage to any construction industry company.

One of the questions on the government’s Office of Personnel Management’s website reflects many construction industry companies’ unspoken thoughts: “Are there really any tangible benefits to diversity and inclusion? Isn’t this just corporate jargon?”

The advantages of diversity in the workplace are real:

  • Broader range of experiences added to decision-making and problem-solving
  • Greater employee retention
  • Higher employee morale
  • Improved company reputation and brand perception
  • Increased productivity and profitability

Construction Industry Companies Can Be Leaders in Diversity

Construction projects serve as a critical stabilizing force in many communities, especially during the pandemic… economic focus will turn to construction projects and their capacity to serve as a catalyst for economic growth. Construction Dive

You will be encountering more construction industry projects that have diversity requirements. Avoiding those potentials for profit because you don’t know how to track and manage reports proving diversity compliance is a formula for failure.

The right software can:

  • Eliminate security issues (subcontractors emailing personal worker information)
  • Lower liability (run data-checks to ensure project compliance)
  • Provide a single location for contractors/subs to submit workforce data
  • Provide real-time information
  • Reduce errors caused by manually inputting data into spreadsheets

When bidding on projects that include diversity hiring initiatives and requirements, being able to say you already have the process in place gives you a competitive edge. “This is an opportunity to demonstrate how your projects bring opportunity and positively shape communities for generations to come,” says software company SkillSmart*.

Technology for the Construction Industry Increases Your Profits

Any software that gives you better management and tracking capabilities is an investment; not an expense. The building permit data we have provided since 1989 was, for many construction industry companies, their first investment in acquiring information software technology provides.

Construction Monitor continues to utilize data analytics for better business development. And marketing development people – like you – continue to track construction leads using our information.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact us to learn more.

___
*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any technology company products (except ours). References are for informational use only.

Protecting Construction Industry Workers (And Your Business)

Construction Industry Workers

Okay, let’s be cynical for a moment: Statistically, construction workers are among those least likely to get coronavirus vaccinations. Many of our teams grumble about social distancing and other safety measures. And then, when an employee contracts COVID-19 on the job, it could follow with a lawsuit or an OSHA violation citation.

No whining. Just work it. Coronavirus variants indicate the pandemic may be around longer than we thought.

Construction Industry On-The-Job Safety Includes Reducing Coronavirus Exposure

There may not be many – because they’re not easy to prove – but personal injury lawsuits are one challenge construction industry owners will face this year. First, it’s difficult to prove you contracted COVID-19 at a jobsite. The incubation period is between 2-14 days. How can anyone claim it’s work-related?

They may claim jobsite-related exposure if a co-worker has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if their job involves ongoing contact with the public.

Prevention is the best cure. If you’re OSHA-compliant, you should be protected from these lawsuits.

Limit Exposure; Protect Employees

“Contractors should aim to use the most effective control possible given the particulars of the job task or environment,” says attorney Stefan Borovina. These can include:

  • Enhanced ventilation
  • Posted hygiene instructions
  • PPE (protective personal equipment) and masks
  • Social distancing
  • Staggered shifts

Possible exposures should be disclosed without revealing the identity of any workers.

Document and Communicate Policies

No employee should be able to say he or she didn’t know about certain procedures or policies within your construction industry company. Not only should policies be included in employee onboarding, but they should also be posted at the jobsite.

Our Tools Keep Your Company Healthy

We recommend you refer to our construction industry safety checklist and appoint a health-and-safety supervisor for each project. If you want to develop more leads and structure better bids, we recommend you take advantage of our construction industry data analyses. The information is presorted for your business.

One of the great things about Construction Monitor is its ability to see what’s limited to our area… One of the ways it’s helped
our business is to find our target market…to find out

what the competition is doing.Rocky Ridge Rock, Inc.

Maybe it’s time for you to discover what’s great about a Construction Monitor subscription. Call 800-925-6085 (international 435-586-1205) or contact us for more information. Your information.