The Most Surprising Construction Labor Shortage Statistics in 2024

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Navigating the intricacies of the construction industry can often present various challenges. Among the most concerning issues currently facing the sector is the notorious labor shortage. This problem is not just a fleeting issue but poses an ongoing barrier to the industry’s growth. In this blog post, we dive deep into the pressing construction labor shortage, underpinned by a comprehensive review of current statistics.

Our objective is to shed light on this predicament, its roots, implications, and potential remedies. Whether you’re an industry professional, a curious observer or a policy-maker, understanding these statistics is crucial for insightful comprehension of the changing dynamics within the construction landscape. Buckle in as we guide you through this pressing issue, one fact at a time.

The Latest Construction Labor Shortage Statistics Unveiled

The industry will need to hire 430,000 more workers than were employed in 2020. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Imagine painting a picture but running out of colors halfway through. That’s the situation the construction industry finds itself in, confronting a significant labor shortage. The assertion, sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the industry will need to hire an additional 430,000 workers than it employed in 2020, provides a tangible measure of this challenge.

This number, stark and high, not only gives dimension to the problem but also underlines the urgent need for solutions. It underscores the opportunity that lies within the industry for job seekers, whilst serving as an alarm bell for policy-makers and industry leaders, who urgently need to develop strategies to attract this massive influx of labor. Such hard numbers give the abstract concept of labor shortage flesh and bones, making it more understandable for readers and enabling better decision-making.

81% of contractors are having trouble finding qualified craft workers. Source: AGC of America,

Delving into a sea of statistical revelations, we stumble upon an astonishing figure: ‘81% of contractors are wrestling with the challenge of discovering qualified craft workers,’ – a number sourced from the AGC of America. This statistic kindles a flame of understanding as we navigate through the labyrinth of construction labor shortage issues.

To embellish our understanding of this phenomenon, it’s crucial to consider a landscape teetering precariously on the edge of a skills gap. The 81% reverberates across the industry, illuminating the fact that the fruit of a qualified labor force is becoming a rare gem.

This figure also paints a vivid image of the crescendoing difficulties contractors face, laying down bricks of concern that may destabilize the foundation of the construction industry at large. The myriad ripple effects that follow – from project delays to increased costs – further embroider the blog post’s canvas with tangible industry challenges, bringing life to the otherwise cold data.

In essence, this statistic is not just a number to forget, but a vivid splash of insight that intensifies our understanding of the labor crises in construction. Reaching beyond mere numbers, it offers a persuasive narrative on the urgent need for solutions, serving as an unshakeable cornerstone for our discussion on construction labor shortage statistics.

Approximately 600,000 construction jobs in the US remain unfilled as of May 2020. Source: Deloitte,

Strikingly, the statistic from Deloitte that there were approximately 600,000 unfilled construction jobs in the US as of May 2020 provides a powerful illustration of the magnitude of the labor shortage in the construction industry. In the sea of numbers and data, this staggering statistic breathes life into the abstraction of the labor shortage, offering a concrete marker of the problem at hand.

More than just an intriguing datapoint, this statistic acts as a clear piece of evidence underscoring the urgency of addressing labor shortage issues in the construction industry reflected in the depth of our discussion in the blog post. This isn’t a mere coincidence; it’s a call for stakeholders in the construction industry to unlock thoughtful solutions and strategies. Without a doubt, such statistics pave the way for understanding the status quo and provoking an essential dialogue on how to fill these gaps, thereby ensuring the industry’s future growth and sustainability.

The shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry is costing UK businesses an average of £35,000 each per year. Source: The Chartered Institute of Building,

Highlighting this statistic paints a vivid picture of the tangible financial impact faced by UK businesses due to the shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry, an issue that is often perceived solely in terms of operational delays or quality deficiencies.

With each business stand to lose an average of £35,000 annually, as pointed out by the credible source, The Chartered Institute of Building, the scale of the shortage becomes even more staggering. This numerical evidence reinforces the urgency of addressing the labor shortage while also piquing interest about the specific causes and potential solutions to this pervasive issue in the industry.

Almost 70% of builders reported a labor shortage in 2017. Source: National Association of Home Builders,

Delving into the depths of the construction sector, it’s eye-opening to unearth a substantial revelation from the National Association of Home Builders which speaks volumes about the state of labor in this industry. According to them, 2017 was a year when almost 70% of builders reported facing a labor shortage. This key statistical highlight serves as an epicenter to frame an understanding of the labor shortage challenge the construction world grapples with.

Amidst numbers and percentages, it’s not only a story of shortfall but a testament to the urgent and increasing demand for skilled workers that resonates out loudly from this data point. Thus, it solidifies the backbone of discussions and inquiries into the wider repercussions, potential solutions, and impact of labor scarcity within our conversation around construction labor shortage statistics.

17% of Australian construction companies are unable to bid on contracts due to labor shortages. Source: MBG,

Digging into the bricks and mortar of the construction labor shortage in Australia, the revelation from MBG that 17% of local construction companies are sidelined from bidding on contracts hits like a sledgehammer. It paints a brick-red warning sign of a sector struggling to maintain pace with demand, choked off from growth opportunities due to labor shortfalls.

Creating a stark visual, it’s as if for every five potential bidders on a project, one is already brushed off the blueprint before even getting out of the gate. This core evidence yields vital insights for readers, prompting critical discussions for strategies to address labor shortages. Underpinning a broader talking point, it situates our blog post within a tangible, real-world impact, thus highlighting the urgency and relevance of the issue at hand.

More than 200,000 construction jobs are unfilled in Canada due to the labor shortage. Source: BuildForce Canada,

Illuminating the gravity of the situation in Canada’s construction sector, BuildForce Canada’s statistic of over 200,000 unfilled construction jobs unveils an acute labor shortage. Befitting a blog post about Construction Labor Shortage Statistics, it starkly underlines the scale of the workforce void within the industry.

The statistic attests not just a hiccup in labor availability, but rather a potent structural challenge that demands immediate attention and robust solutions. Consequently, this figure is not merely illustrative – it is symbolic, speaking volumes about the systemic issues in the labor force that Canada’s construction sector faces.

Roughly 80% of U.S. construction firms report difficulty in finding qualified craft workers in their area. Source: The National Center for Construction Education and Research,

In the riveting world of construction labor shortage statistics, the stat that roughly 80% of U.S. construction firms report difficulty in finding qualified craft workers in their area serves as a striking headline. This finding, courtesy of The National Center for Construction Education and Research, paints an alarming picture of the current state of the construction job market.

It underscores a critical issue – that a vast majority of firms face a substantial hurdle in locating capable artisans. It signals a substantial demand-supply gap in the industry, potentially throttling growth, escalating costs, and lengthening timelines.

Moreover, this number highlights the urgency of enhancing vocational training efforts and implementing strategic hiring practices to bridge this skill gap. If ignored, the ripple effects could extend beyond the construction firms – affecting the potential of the industry and inhibiting infrastructure development at large. Hence, this statistic indeed serves as the cornerstone in our discussion of the construction labor shortage.

91% of more than 2,500 surveyed contractors said they’re concerned about the labor shortage. Source: Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America,

In weaving into the canvas of Construction Labor Shortage Statistics, this thinly veiled fact punctuates a concerning trend: 91% of over 2,500 contractors surveyed echo their worries about labor shortage – a preview from Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America.

This revelation is a snapshot that intensifies the narrative, injecting a potent dose of reality into it – the scarcity of labor in the construction industry is not a grim prophecy, but an existing ordeal that deflates the morale of a whopping 91% of contractors. The data, therefore, adds a vivid stroke to the overarching portrait of the current landscape of the construction field.

The ongoing labor shortage will slow housing starts to a potential 2.5 million units in 2022. Source: CNBC,

An insightful correlation exists between the cited statistic and the overall theme of a blog post about Construction Labor Shortage Statistics. It serves as a pivotal compass for gauging the effects of construction labor scarcity on the housing market. Specifically, the projection of housing starts dwindling to a mere 2.5 million units in 2022, as reported by CNBC, carries heavy implications.

It reveals the tightening knot of labor shortage, not quantitatively alone but qualitatively, representing the shadows it casts on the industry’s capacity to respond to housing demands. Thus, stepping beyond mere numbers, the statistic paints a vivid picture of the future of the construction industry amidst this labor crisis, thereby adding depth and relevance to the topic.

44% of contractors expect the labor shortage to worsen in the next six months (as of 2021). Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index,

Delving into the significance of the figure ‘44% of contractors expect the labor shortage to worsen in the next six months (as of 2021)’ from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, it acts like a barometer of the construction industry’s health. It underlines the notion that the labor shortage is not simply a fleeting concern, but one that is forecasted to intensify, casting a shadow over the industry’s future.

This prediction, as decided by nearly half of contractors, offers the readers a peek into the plausible challenges such as increased costs, project delays, or declined bids. Therefore, this statistic not just adds weight to the discourse around Construction Labor Shortage, but also spurs conversation around potential remedies or policy intervention needed to turn the tide.

Since 1998, productivity in construction has decreased 1%, while all non-farming industries have increased by 152%. Partly due to labor shortage. Source: McKinsey Global Institute,

The statistic revealing a 1% decrease in construction productivity since 1998, contrasted sharply with a 152% increase in non-farming industries, is certainly striking. Drawing from the McKinsey Global Institute source, the underlying reasons could offer intriguing insights in understanding the construction labor shortage.

Primarily, these contrasting details underscore the roots of the labor crunch in the construction sector while enunciating the amplified effects a labor shortage can have on productivity levels. As a fragile thread connects productivity and labor availability, the unraveling of this thread exposes the construction industry’s vulnerability to labor market fluctuations.

The astounding 152% productivity leap in non-farming industries adds another layer to this narrative. By comparison, it elucidates the potential gains the construction sector could encompass if it successfully addresses its labor shortage. This staggering contrast highlights an essential pathway to potential growth and advancement that is currently blocked off due to the persistent issue of labor scarcity.

Ultimately, this statistic doesn’t just contribute a dimension to our understanding of construction labor shortage; it acts as a mirror reflecting both the sector’s current struggles and untapped potentials. It sets a compelling backdrop against which the importance of resolving the labor shortage in the construction industry, among other related statistics, can be fully appreciated.

According to a NAHB survey, 85% of builders listed the cost and availability of workers as their number one concern for 2021. Source: National Association of Home Builders,

Highlighting the statistic from the NAHB survey where 85% of the builders expressed their concern for the cost and availability of workers for 2021, shines a floodlight on a dire situation prevalent in the construction industry – labor shortage. This particular figure not only sketches the magnitude of the issue, but also illuminates the urgency felt by a staggering percentage of builders.

It acts like a warning bell, alerting the related stakeholders of the construction industry about the immediate need to address this issue. Linking this to the wider subject of construction labor shortage, this statistic bolsters the argument about the prevailing crisis, making it a significant detail in a blog post centered around Construction Labor Shortage Statistics.

The construction industry has lost 600,000 jobs since the Great Recession that have not been filled. Source: Curbed,

Highlighting the significant depletion of 600,000 jobs in the construction industry post the Great Recession is an alarming indicator of the ongoing labor shortage in the industry. This statistic from Curbed is a stark reminder of the significant talent gap that exists, which is a root cause that contributes to underproduction, project delays, and escalating costs.

Such a significant deficit in labor gives us a broader perspective of the challenges the construction industry must tackle to overcome this shortfall. Furthermore, understanding the depth of this issue could catalyze proactive measures to attract and retain workers, therefore directly addressing the problem.

St. Louis, Missouri, is expected to face a shortage of 20,000 workers in the building trades by 2020. Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The looming labor shortage in St. Louis, Missouri, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, adds a tangible dimension to the broad discussion on construction labor shortage statistics. It provides a real-world example that underscores the urgency and magnitude of this issue. Anticipating a shortfall of 20,000 workers in the building trades by 2020, this city serves as a microcosm of a problem that’s reverberating across the country.

Such a stark figure in the context of a single city can help readers understand the scale of the labor shortage and its potential impacts on construction projects, completion times, and costs. It is a wake-up call for industry stakeholders, policy makers, and educators to urgently address the issue, be it through contingency planning, ramping up trainings and apprenticeships or aggressive recruitment strategies.


The persistent labor shortage in the construction industry is indeed an alarming problem. Statistics have vividly painted a picture of an industry grappling to fill critical positions. With a significant percentage of the workforce aging out and fewer young people showing interest, the challenge is only set to intensify.

Despite these persisting issues, there are steps that can potentially alleviate the burden – including promotion of trade school education, investments in training and development, implementation of new technologies, and government policies aimed to bolster apprentice programs. To maintain the health and competitiveness of the construction industry, it is crucial not just to bear these statistics in mind but to actively use them to guide strategic planning and decision-making efforts for the future.


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What are the main reasons behind the construction labor shortage?

The primary reasons behind the construction labor shortage are an aging workforce, less interest in the younger generation towards manual labor jobs, lack of proper training and learning opportunities, and immigration policies restricting the labor supply.

How does the construction labor shortage impact the construction industry?

The construction labor shortage typically leads to project delays, increases in labor costs, and difficulties in meeting client demands. It can also affect the quality of work, as fewer workers might be pressured to complete tasks they may not specialize in.

What are the possible solutions to the construction labor shortage issue?

Solutions include promoting construction and trade jobs to younger generations, increased investment in vocational and trade schools, offering competitive wage and benefit packages to attract and retain workers, and revisiting immigration policies to ensure a steady labor supply.

How is the construction labor shortage affecting housing and infrastructure development?

The labor shortage in the construction industry directly impacts housing and infrastructure development. The lack of skilled labor slows down construction processes, leading to a reduced number of houses being built, and delays in infrastructure projects, affecting overall economic growth.

Are the tech advancements in the construction field helping to address the labor shortage?

Yes, technological advancements like improved machinery, equipment, and software are helping to some extent. By automating certain processes and boosting productivity, the immediate impact of the labor shortage can be mitigated. However, tech cannot completely replace human labor and craftsmanship.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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