A third of all new jobs created in the last year in Florida occurred within the construction sector. Florida has enjoyed robust economic resurgence that’s been a windfall to the construction companies. So much so that construction companies are experiencing a labor shortage to meet demand.
“Florida businesses have created 1.4 million jobs over the past six and a half years and our unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest in a decade, which is further proof that our efforts to cut taxes and grow the economy is helping our state become a national leader in job creation,” says Gov. Rick Scott.
The labor shortage for construction in Florida can be attributed to a variety of factors. During the shale and fracking boom, many skilled laborers left Florida and headed west. Many workers are aging and there aren’t young workers to take their place. A labor shortage means compensation rises, which in turn raises the cost and extends the completion time to build new developments.
Construction work in Florida isn’t for the faint of heart and the average age of an iron worker is 41. Lowering that age means more young people need to be trained, except it’s hard work and millennials as a generation are showing a predilection for seeking easier ways to earn a living. Until recently, the average age for new construction workers in Florida is about 28 years old, which is 10 years removed from the times workers began training out of high school, except high schools don’t prepare kids for career using vocational or tradesman skills. Fewer high schools teach shop class and funding for vocational schools is all but gone. This has been caused by a ideological shift in education, where every kid is prepared for college, whether it suits their nature or not.
Sitting at a desk and pushing papers around 8 hours a day isn’t for everyone. While challenging, construction is a satisfying career of building a new world and creating value for the community. In the upcoming years, Florida is expected to increase construction in transit and rail transportation, higher education, hospitals, retail and warehouse, offices, apartments, residential, and highway and public buildings, including schools. As an industry, construction and builders can do a better job recruiting talent and enticing young people to pursue a career in construction, or else the cost and time to complete jobs will continue to rise.
But despite the labor shortages, ARC Development is known throughout the industry for our ability to take on projects and finish them as quickly and efficiently as possible without sacrificing worksmanship or going over budget. Our testimonials attest that we’re a leader in the sector.