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The Real Deal Los Angeles

The construction worker shortage in California is getting even worse

75 percent of firms can’t meet worker demand

(credit: Getty Images)

It’s time Californians swap the fedora and snapback for the hard hat.

A new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America found that 70 percent of construction firms are struggling to find quality workers, KPCC reports.

The firm surveyed over 1600 firms working in public works, commercial, industrial and apartment construction across the nation– 97 of which were from California. Single-family home builders were exempt.

The survey showed 75 percent of the firms surveyed in the western part of the the country were struggling to fill construction positions, up from 71 percent in 2016. Roughly 70 percent said they were still planning to grow their crews in the coming year to meet demand.

For the Golden State, that news is especially troubling as developers and lawmakers are in a rat race to build in an effort to combat the housing shortage. The state added nearly 50,000 construction jobs in the period of July 2016 to July 2017, with 34,000 projects in the Southern California region.

With less quality workers available, trade organizations and construction firms are investing more heavily in recruiting and training workers who weren’t traditionally in the field, such as women and veterans. Others are increasing hourly wages to retrain and attract workers, contractors group said. [KPCC] – Natalie Hoberman