Sept. 29, 2017
The U.S. is hurting for skilled construction labor, but Southern California has found a way to sidestep this issue. “If Southern California was a state by itself, it would be the biggest creator of construction jobs in the nation,” according to an article with The Orange County Register.
The region features five counties that have hired a sixth of all new construction workers in the last year. Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties added nearly 20,000 construction jobs in the 12 months ending with August. Riverside and San Bernardino counties added almost 16,000.
The roughly 36,000 jobs added in Southern California equaled 16% of the nation’s new construction jobs in the last year. The region, however, only holds 6% of the construction industry’s nearly 7 million jobs across the country.
California overall added the most construction jobs in the last year, followed by Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada. Minus the five Southern California counties, the rest of the state only contributed about 12,000 jobs.
“Growing construction crews come as 62 percent of California construction bosses polled said they were challenged to find hourly craftsmen, and 27 percent said they expected hiring headaches to increase. Nationwide, unemployment of skilled construction workers is at a 17-year low,” said the Register.
Southern California wasn’t the only region in the U.S. to see a construction employment increase. Construction employment improved in 274 out of 358 (77%) metro areas, said the Associated General Contractors of America. “Association officials noted that the construction job gains come even as 70 percent of responding firms reported having a hard time finding qualified craft workers to hire.”
– Michael Miller, editorial associate