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.

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*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.

Construction Industry Remains Union-Strong

construction industry

The February 2020 unemployment rate was low: 3.5%. But by December, it was 6.7%. In tough economic times, most of us will take work when and where we can get it.

Less pay for more work thrives during chaos. Despite the pandemic layoffs, 2020 union membership remained strong in the construction industry.

Construction Industry Unions Thrive Despite Pandemic

Construction industry union membership percentages dipped in 2019 but actually increased in 2020 to 12.7%. In 2019, nonunion wages for construction industry workers were 29% less than union members’ wages.

However, union wages decreased from $1,240/week in 2019 to $1,234/week in 2020. Nonunion members’ salaries went up, from $868/week to $920/week.

The Economic Policy Institute says the 2020 pandemic emphasized what unions have been trying to change for decades: U.S. labor law fails to protect working people. 

In spite of their critical role in providing necessary services, these (construction industry) workers have been working
without access to fundamental protections like personal
protective equipment or paid sick leave.
epi.org

Few take campaign promises seriously, but we can always hope. If the Biden presidency follows-through, the Build Back Better energy plan will add more union jobs this year.

Construction Monitor Increases Work Opportunities for Businesses Like Yours

You’d be surprised at the number of “unofficial” construction industry companies that use building permit data to make marketing decisions. A food truck owner can learn where job sites will be located in the spring and summer by studying building permit applications this week.

One savvy light fixtures salesperson looks for bathroom and kitchen remodeling permits. “If you’re getting a plumbing overhaul, replacing old lighting with modern, ‘smart’ adds an affordable feel-good factor to a renovation expense,” she says.

Construction industry companies use our data analytics to chase leads and build business. Learn more about how we can customize the information you need. Email, call 800-925-6085, or contact Construction Monitor.

Can Smart Vests Make Job Sites Safer?

While you might view technology in the construction industry primarily from an efficiency standpoint, some of today’s technology also offers major health and safety benefits. Among these is a smart vest developed to alert wearers to the signs of heat illness before their health suffers.

technology in the construction industryHeat Illness: An Increasingly Common Threat

Unusually high summer temperatures have become more frequent across the country and with them, the risk of heat-related illnesses also rises. This growing threat prompted the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to launch their annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers.

Construction workers are at high risk for heat illness due to the physical labor, protective clothing, and heat-generating equipment involved in the work. Providing your workers with plenty of water, shade and rest time doesn’t eliminate the risk. Workers don’t always realize when their discomfort has reached dangerous levels.

Heat stress causes excessive thirst, weakness, clumsiness, dizziness and nausea. A worker may write these symptoms off as normal fatigue and fail to seek help until they’ve suffered more serious health consequences. In severe cases, the worker may collapse before reaching help.

A new smart vest developed by Ruwini Edirisinghe, a researcher with RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, prevents this situation by alerting the wearer to danger. The vest is thought to be the first of this kind of technology in the construction industry.

How the Smart Vest Protects Your Workers

The smart vest looks like an ordinary yellow safety vest. Built into the fabric are sensors that collect data on the temperature of the working environment, as well as the worker’s body temperature and heart rate. The sensors send the data wirelessly in real time to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. If the app detects any abnormalities, it immediately alerts both the wearer and the site supervisor.

The early warning lets the worker stop and rest before suffering any adverse health effects. Because the supervisor is also alerted, there’s little chance the worker will simply ignore the warning.

To learn more about how technology in the construction industry can benefit you, visit the construction leads experts at Construction Monitor.