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Electricians Are Among the Hardest Construction Jobs to Fill

By Holly Sauer | Jan 26, 2023
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Finding skilled labor is a problem across the construction industry, but according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) 2022 Workforce Survey, 79% of firms are having trouble finding electricians.

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Finding skilled labor is a problem across the construction industry, but according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) 2022 Workforce Survey, 79% of firms are having trouble finding electricians.

One reason is because electricians are so vital, and the job requires experience in the trades. Respondents reported on the reasons why they could not fill these positions, and first among them (77%) was that available candidates are not qualified. Other reasons include employees needing flexible work options and having trouble acquiring reliable rides to and from work.

Pipe layers (89%), truck drivers (86%), carpenters (85%) and iron workers (85%) led the hourly positions most respondents had problems filling.

Jobs related to electrical construction also made the list. In terms of how many salaried positions respondents are finding it difficult to fill, 77% of firms responded that they struggle to find estimating professionals. About 51% mentioned having a hard time finding safety professionals, 81% said project managers/supervisors and 66% mentioned BIM personnel jobs were challenging to fill.

To fix this problem, AGC also asked what respondents did to beef up their workforce development initiatives. These included engaging with a career-building program (51%), adding online strategies to connect with younger applicants and engaging with a government workforce development or unemployment agency (28%).

Respondents also answered questions about effects on project completion times and rising material costs on their companies. Delays due to longer lead times or shortages of materials (82%) won the top spot for hindering completion time, while a shortage of workers (66%) and delivery delays (64%) were the next-highest reported issues.

Rising materials costs also affected projects for respondents, with 70% reporting they have passed on some or all additional costs. Thirty-nine percent of people said they were trying to pass on some or all their additional costs, and 39% said they changed suppliers or specifications.

About The Author

A woman, Holly Sauer, smiles in front of a gray background.

Holly Sauer

Senior Associate Editor

Holly Sauer is Electrical Contractor magazine's senior associate editor. Reach her at [email protected].

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