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Contractors in Central Florida Feel the Labor Pinch

lead general contractors mbe in orlandoIt’s been 10 years since the recession and Florida is booming again with Miami and Central Florida leading the state with the lowest unemployment. The unemployment rate in Central Florida was 3.8% in August 2017 and is among the lowest in the nation. Now the only problem is, and it’s a big one, there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the current demand for construction jobs. And it’s causing construction delays throughout the region.

There’s no shortage of projects, just a shortage of construction workers. There are more than 2,000 construction job openings in Orlando currently listed on Indeed.  And, a recent Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida Survey pointed out that nearly 90 percent of construction companies plan to hire workers with the vast majority of companies admitting they are having trouble finding skilled workers. The Greater Orlando Builders Association expects construction jobs in the region to grow 19 percent over the next seven years.

This year has been particularly difficult for the construction industry and with three devastating hurricanes impacting the U.S. and its territories, it has become even more difficult to find construction workers. Many available workers went to Texas, Florida Keys and Puerto Rico to help in the rebuild efforts.

In 2017, the construction industry added 214,000 jobs, slightly more than half of the jobs added were for specialty trade contractors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While employment remained relatively flat from the previous year, there were more than 200,000 unfilled construction jobs across the country in June 2017. Employment in the construction industry is lagging behind other industries including hospitality, education and health services that are seeing an increase in employment and building activities.  As a result, the construction industry is attracting fewer workers as they seek opportunities in other economic sectors.

certified mbe ground up construction orlando flIn an effort to attract construction workers, many construction companies are raising rates to provide higher hourly wages that will attract skilled workers to fill open jobs. A restoration company in Texas, for example, charges customers $85 an hour, a 60 percent increase from past years in order to attract skilled workers to his company.

A skilled workforce is an important part of the Central Florida economy. And local community colleges and vocational schools are playing a big role in helping to train and recruit the next generation of skilled construction workers. The Academy of Construction Technology in Orlando, for example, is preparing high school students in the 4-county Central Florida region for a career in construction through its youth apprenticeship program that integrates in-school academics with paid experience on the work site.

Looking for a high paying career in construction? Contact New Horizon Construction for current job openings.

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