College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Construction Management Department
BS in Construction Management
Allan J. Hauck, Philip Barlow
This paper attempts to examine what factors have caused the sustained labor shortage in the construction industry. Whether it be through the lens of general contractors, trade partners, or suppliers, all parties associated with the built-environment have experienced a form of labor shortage or an increase in older employees with few replacements readily available. The main purpose of this paper is to gather enough data and opinions from construction industry members to formalize the few key factors of the diminished labor force, primarily in California’s commercial construction sector. The lack of skilled workers has negatively impacted the quality and quantity of work able to be performed by trade partners in their respective fields. Conversely, this has impacted the amount of work general contractors can partake in. An additional aim for this research paper is to garner potential solutions that industry members have that can not only expand the current construction labor force, but to also increase awareness of the construction career path to high school students and young individuals. Results of an industry survey indicate that construction firms desire more outreach to high schoolers and college-aged citizens. Whether that be through their own outreach or by unions and vocational programs, there is an emphasis on educating and exposing young people to the construction industry as a worthwhile career. Whether this is through increased funding for trades-related programs by industry members, or initiating new forms of mentorship for students, it is imperative construction members collaborate to find an end to the labor shortage.