Construction Workers and The Great Resignation

construction workers

U.S. job openings in 2021 hit a record high, according to the Labor Department. But the workers who voluntarily quit their jobs last year (47.4 million) also hit record-breaking highs. Dissatisfaction among U.S. workers last year led to turmoil in the labor market.

The coronavirus caused 31% of workers to leave their jobs last year. But childcare issues impacted a lot of working families. Pew Research Center recently revealed the top 10 reasons why there was an exodus of workers in 2021:

  1. Pay too low
  2. No advancement opportunities
  3. Felt disrespected at work
  4. Childcare issues
  5. No scheduling flexibility/work hours
  6. Benefits not good
  7. Would rather relocate
  8. Too many hours
  9. Not enough hours
  10. Employer required a COVID vaccination

Within our industry, 207,000 construction workers quit their jobs in November 2021. That number represented approximately 2.7% of our workforce.

Associated Builders and Contractors said the number of construction workers predicted to leave the construction industry in 2022 will be about 1.2 million. The good news is, about 1.3 million workers are expected to leave other industries to become construction workers.

In February 2022, ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the workforce shortage is the most acute challenge facing the construction industry. “After accounting for inflation, construction spending has likely fallen over the past 12 months. As outlays from the infrastructure bill increase, construction spending will expand, exacerbating the chasm between supply and demand for labor.” ABC encourages contractors to use flexible, competency-based, and market-driven education methodologies to build a construction workforce that is safe, skilled, and productive. 

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