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Local Construction Firms Expected To Hire More Workers In 2018

Construction firms are expected to hire more workers in 2018, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Construction seen from the Fourth Street Bridge in the Arts District in Los Angeles

Construction is booming across the Los Angeles and Southern California markets and experts believe that trend is going to continue into 2018.

A survey released Wednesday by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate found 75% of construction firms nationwide plan to hire more workers this year. 

The survey, “Expecting Growth to Continue: The 2018 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook,” credits the strong economic conditions for the coming hiring spree.

“Construction firms appear to be very optimistic about 2018 as they expect demand for all types of construction services to continue to expand,” Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said in a news release.

“This optimism is likely based on current economic conditions, an increasingly business-friendly regulatory environment and expectations the Trump administration will boost infrastructure investments,” he said.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area, construction employment from 2016 to 2017 increased 6% from 133,000 to 141,300 year-over-year, according to the survey. The Orange County Region of Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine also rose 6% from 99,000 in 2016 to 104,900 in 2017. 

The survey highlighted the Inland Empire’s Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region as one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation. Construction employment in Riverside and San Bernardino counties increased from 95,600 to 110,700, a 16% bump.

Though mostly optimistic, the survey suggested there are some pitfalls. Survey respondents want to hire more but there is a lack of skilled and qualified workers. They also worry about keeping their own skilled workers.

To address the workforce shortages and issues, 60% of firms report they have increased base pay rates, the survey said. Another 36% provide incentives or bonuses and 56% of survey respondents say they plan to increase investments in training and development.