Construction Labor Shortage

As construction recovers from the worst recession in a generation, the industry cannot simply resume business as usual. Key trends that were just emerging before the recession, such as green building, lean construction and greater collaboration, have now only strengthened. In response to this industry transformation, Dodge Data & Analytics conducted two studies that examine issues such as the construction labor shortage: an industrywide study with architecture and engineering firms, general contractors and specialty trade contractors, and a comparison study of architecture students and practitioners working in firms conducted for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). These studies reveal that near-term shortages of skilled, experienced workers are a serious concern:

  • Almost one third of architecture and engineering firms and general contractors are concerned about the construction worker shortage
  • Nearly half of general contractors are concerned about finding experienced craftworkers by 2014, and well over one third of architecture and engineering firms are concerned about finding workers with 10 years or more of experience
  • 79% of architecture firms are not sure that the United States student pipeline will suffice to replace people leaving the profession, a problem exacerbated by the 76% of United States architecture students who indicate they would consider working abroad


The rise of green jobs in construction has both created opportunities and intensified the construction labor shortage. In order to gauge their impact, this report provides groundbreaking definitions of green jobs in design and construction that consider the number of green buildings, uniquely green systems and work that requires different skills to achieve green goals.


Get access to the full report by clicking the button below.