The largest expansion in the industrial construction market in the United States in decades recently prompted the union construction industry to conduct a study to determine the impact of increased job demand and costs related to forecasted labor shortages.
The 2008 Construction Industry Conditions Survey, sponsored by The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) and the North American Contractors Association (NACA), gathered information from more than 200 industrial contractors regarding the escalating workload and its financial impact.
“The expansion of the industrial construction market is fostering a situation of additional work practices which increase labor costs beyond the contractual wage and fringe rates. As a result, traditional measures of labor costs and labor cost escalation are excluding a sometimes significant component of current labor costs,” said Robert Gasperow of the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC).
The survey findings were released at the 2008 TAUC Leadership Conference in May. The most notable finding from the survey was that two-thirds of craft workers have experienced labor shortages in some form or another.
According to the survey results:
-Almost two-thirds of contractors have experienced labor shortages with single or multiple crafts;
-The crafts most likely to be experiencing shortages are boilermakers, pipefitters, and ironworkers;
-Nearly half of the contractors utilize an extended work schedule;
-Almost half of the contractors have a work schedule of more than 40 hours per week;
-Two-thirds reported working their crews five days a week;
-A variety of supplemental payments are being made which is outlined in the report;
-One-third of workers are being given travel payments
“This survey was conducted in large part to determine the specifics of the labor shortages not whether or not they were occurring especially which crafts are being affected in which parts of the country,” said TAUC CEO Steve Lindauer.