Shortage Of Skilled Labor Weighs On Texas Construction

A nationwide survey finds construction firms plan to ramp up hiring in 2014. The study finds relatively few Texas contractors expect to hire more workers in the year ahead, even though the state's construction sector is booming.

The Associated General Contractors of America, or AGC, says just 13% of Texas contractors plan to add workers in 2014. Critically, none of the respondents expect to lay off workers. Nearly 90% either plan no changes or remain unsure.    A shortage of skilled workers remains one of the biggest barriers to hiring — with carpenters and equipment operators being in the shortest supply.

AGC chief economist Ken Simonson says the oil and gas sector is driving most of Texas’ new construction activity.

“The drilling itself counts as mining, but every one of those well sites requires some kind of site preparation, a storage pond, housing for the pumping and processing machinery. We’re also seeing a lot of rail construction to bring natural gas liquids or oil from the fields to the refineries.”

Simonson says Houston remains one of the few metro areas in the nation to benefit from strong office construction. 

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...