The Real Deal Miami

Annual survey shows a worsening shortage of construction workers in Florida

The annual survey by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that 79% of Florida construction companies struggle to hire skilled trade workers, up from 70% in 2016
September 09, 2018 12:00PM

Construction employment in South Florida stood at 144,900 in July. (Credit: Emaar Groups)

A survey shows about eight out of 10 construction companies in Florida are struggling to find workers with trade skills.

Bricklayers, drywall installers, electricians, pipe layers and welders are the workers most in demand across Florida. Iron workers and concrete workers also are scarce.

The survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 79 percent of Florida construction companies are having difficulty filling “some or all” positions for skilled workers.

Two years ago, the annual survey found that 70 percent of Florida construction companies were struggling to find qualified workers.

This year’s survey also found that 56 percent of Florida construction companies face a shortage of architects, engineers and project managers to fill salaried positions.

A shortage of skilled workers in Florida and nationwide has raised the costs of projects for construction companies and has delayed their work schedules, according to Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, an Arlington, Va.-based organization.

The tight labor market means construction companies that fail to pay or train their workers enough can lose them to competitors, Peter Dyga, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter.

Nevertheless, South Florida’s construction employment increased from to 144,900 in July from 129,700 in July 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Sun-Sentinel]Mike Seemuth