Construction Spending Rises To Four-year High

Louisiana construction firms having trouble finding qualified workers, survey says

Many construction firms are already having a hard time finding qualified workers and expect construction labor shortages will only get worse, said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. We need to take short- and long-term steps to make sure there are enough workers to meet future demand and avoid the costly construction delays that would come with labor shortages. Brian Turmail, a spokesperson for AGC of America, said 16 firms in Louisiana participated in the survey, landing the state within the top 33 percent of respondents nationally. Turmail said firms in Louisiana have seen an ongoing issue with finding qualified craft workers, such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, roofers and laborers. Sandherr said that most firms expect labor shortages will continue and get worse for the next year. Eighty-six percent of respondents said they expect it will remain difficult or get harder to find qualified craft workers while 72 percent say the market for professional positions will remain hard or get worse. Seventy-four percent of respondents report there are not enough qualified craft workers available to meet future demand while 49 percent said there werent enough construction professionals available, he added.


Economists at JPMorgan expect that housing will keep improving with construction this year hitting 925,000 homes and apartments, up 18% from 2012. The forecast is for a further increase to a level of 1.13 million homes and apartments in 2014. The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the April-June quarter, an improvement from a growth rate of 1.1% in the first three months of the year. MARKETS: How stocks are performing Tuesday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the central bank is prepared to start reducing its monthly bond buying later this year if the economy and labor market keep improving. Some economists believe the first cut in the $85 billion per month in bond purchases might come at the Fed’s next meeting on Sept.

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