There is a lot of discussion regarding a possible recession affecting the American economy in the last quarter of 2022. Whether this recession takes place and how long it persist in still being debated. However one sector of the economy seems well positioned to weather an economic downturn; construction. Here are three reasons construction careers may be a good choice for those concerned about the economy.
Infrastructure Projects Have Already Been Funded
In the United States, 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges, are in poor condition. The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects. These investments will add, on average, around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade.
Construction Worker Shortage May Get Worse
As outlays from the infrastructure bill increase, construction spending will expand, widening the distance between supply and demand for labor.
There are roughly 25% more unfilled construction positions than hires in the United States. This shortage of workers will likely lead to quite a bit of wage growth resulting from high demand for construction services and so few employees. While this scenario represents higher cost for employers, skilled workers will be in high demand and can potentially command higher wages.
An Aging Workforce Creates Opportunites for Younger Workers
There are roughly half a million job openings in the industry, per April projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher than the previous high of 438,000 in April 2019. But that need is unlikely to be met by a rapidly aging workforce.
Since the end of 2008, the number of construction workers aged 25-54 has dropped 8%, while the number of those 55 and over has risen. In fact, twenty percent of workers are 55 and older, and 61 is the average retirement age — meaning a fifth of the current construction workforce is at risk of leaving within the next six years. This means that younger workers are in an unique position to find readily available opportunities in the construction sector.
While the next few months may present challenges to many in the American economy, construction workers appear to be well positioned to enjoy continued employment and rising wages.