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Construction Industry Advocates: Worker Shortage 'Severe'

Apartments under construction on Colonial Drive. Florida added the most construction jobs of any state in the last 12 months- but industry experts say skilled labor is in short supply. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
An apartment complex clad in building paper. concrete mixer in the foreground.

Construction industry advocates say there’s a severe shortage of skilled workers nationwide- including in Florida.

They want lawmakers to do more to help fill the labor gap.

According to a recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, construction workers from carpenters to on site supervisors are in short supply.

AGC chief economist Ken Simonson says Florida added more than 41,000 construction jobs in the last 12 months- the most of any state.

He says contractors are having to hire those workers from other states or other industries

“Chances are there aren’t that many who’ve been sitting around waiting for a contractor to call them," says Simonson.

"I think Florida is definitely a state that soon we’ll be hearing about difficulty finding those workers.”

AGC says local, state and federal governments could do more to increase the supply of qualified workers.

The association wants more funding for vocational education, and more support for veterans to get training in construction related jobs.

AGC also supports immigration reform to increase the pool of available workers.