Nearly three-fourths of construction firms across the country plan to add workers in 2017 – if they can find them, according to a survey of nearly 1,300 construction firms from 49 states conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America.
AGC found that 73 percent of construction companies nationwide expect to add jobs, though 42 percent in the western states have had and will continue to have difficulties filling salaried and craft worker position. Worker shortages are a concern of 54 percent of construction companies across the Pacific and Mountain time zones and 47 percent are concerned with worker quality, AGC reported.
The survey reported that 54 percent construction companies in the western states have had to increase pay or benefits to recruit or retain talent.
The same dynamics apply to booming Idaho, especially the Treasure Valley, said Wayne Hammon, executive director Idaho AGC.
“In Idaho, contractors are expressing the same concerns as contractors are nationally,” Hammon said. “Idaho contractors are having a hard time finding and retaining talent. We see that in the fact that wages are going up. We expect that trend to continue in spring.”
As western construction firms scramble for workers, 50 percent of them expect a higher dollar volume of potential projects in 2017 while only 10 percent see a decrease.
The strongest categories across the region are retail, warehouse, lodging (combined as one category), transportation, apartments and K-12 schools.