In previous years, no industry has felt the impact of the national labor shortage more than construction. According to Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry alone is over 546,000 workers short of fulfilling national demand in 2023. Though this issue has been brewing for decades, it was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a worldwide shortage of labor and hit the skilled trades, where an in-person setting is necessary due to the nature of the work, especially hard.
While COVID-19 and the impact of inflation further exacerbated the labor shortage issue, at the heart of it is a structural flaw in the U.S. economy which has deemphasized the skilled trades and resulted in a labor supply that falls far short of demand. To compensate for this dilemma, companies now must contribute toward cultivating the next generation of skilled workers. Investing in trade school students and other available talent through apprenticeships and Work Based Learning programs present prime opportunities that promise significant returns in the future.
By hiring students and recent graduates, companies can immediately help offset the shortage created by previous generations of workers retiring. This strategy is also helpful due to how transmissible information is with Gen Z, with both word of mouth and social media being quick outlets to encourage other potential workers to immerse themselves in the trades.
Luckily, this process can be made much simpler through companies like BigHire, who make it easy for job seekers, employers, and training institutions to collaborate on solutions that promise results.