TAUC Labor Supply Study Shows Projected Growth, Increased Labor Shortages for 2019
The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) commissioned the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the union construction and maintenance industry which includes sheet metal work. The fifth annual TAUC Union Craft Labor Supply Study is available now on the TAUC website.
About three fourths (76%) of the study participants projected growth for 2019 in the construction and maintenance industry. This is similar to last year (78%). Those projecting “strong growth” continued to increase in number, up to 25% this year. In 2015 just 9% expected strong growth.
Unsurprisingly, there is a difference in how unions and clients view growth potential. Union/labor representatives have the highest expectation of growth while owner/clients had the lowest expectation regarding projected growth.
In a trend that could be predicted, more respondents reported union craft labor shortage in their organization than in previous years. However, although a union craft labor shortage is very prevalent, reported in 69% of the organizations, the majority (54%) said it was small, defined as a 12.5% shortage of workers. About a third (31%) reported a surplus or the right number of union craft in their organization. One concern the study found is that 44% of contractors/subcontractors and construction managers did not bid on work due to a shortage of union craft workers in their organization.
When it comes to sheet metal workers, the reported average shortage increased from 2.1% in 2017 to 2.4% in 2018, but remained smaller than the all craft average in 2018 (sheet metal workers: 2.4%, all crafts: 3.4%).
Additionally, there was a greater projected average shortage of sheet metal workers in 2019 (2018: 2.2%, 2019: 2.9%). Regarding apprenticeship, sheet metal workers reported an increase in their shortage in 2018. Thus, they are now similar to all crafts combined.
The full study report is available now from TAUC.