Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


Labor supply study: Shortage of apprentices is increasing

Jul 06, 2017

TAUC-logoThe Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) recently issued its “2017 Union Craft Labor Supply Study,” which looked at union-specific labor supply for the construction industry, including sheet metal workers. 

The report is the only national, union-specific labor supply study focusing on construction and maintenance. The study found that the shortage of sheet metal worker apprentices is increasing. For 2016, respondents reported a 43 percent shortage of apprentices for sheet metal workers and a 43 percent shortage for all crafts combined.  

In addition to the overall percentage increasing, the number of areas reporting a shortage also increased. The percent of the study sample reporting a shortage of apprentices increased from 29 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2016. During this time, the respondents reporting a surplus declined from 19 percent to 13 percent. Unsurprisingly, the concern over a shortage of sheet metal worker apprentices is also growing.

 However, the shortage of apprentices was about the same as the all-craft average. For 2015, 29 percent of respondents reported a shortage of apprentices for sheet metal workers and 33 percent for all crafts combined.

 The "2017 Union Craft Labor Supply Study" was conducted by The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) in conjunction with the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC).

The report’s findings will help create a detailed, data-driven picture of the current state of the labor supply throughout the United States. The report is available on the TAUC website