Missouri construction firms signal expansion plans, hiring pains

Eight in 10 Missouri construction firms plan to hire hourly craft personnel for expansion in the next year, but that same proportion of companies in the state is having a hard time filling some or all positions, according to an annual workforce survey from the Associated General Contractors of America.

That mirrors the trend across the U.S., according to the annual survey, which was released in late August. Those hourly craft positions make up the bulk of the construction workforce.

In Missouri, only 3% respondents said their firms wouldn’t hire craft personnel in the coming months. At least half of respondents also said their firms planned to hire salaried field or salaried office personnel for expansion. About a quarter of firms planned to hire hourly office personnel for expansion.

Despite those plans to hire, companies have encountered difficulty filling open positions, according to the survey. Eighty percent Missouri construction firms have a hard time filling hourly craft positions, and 49% of Missouri construction firms have a hard time filling salaried positions. About 15% firms have no difficulty filling hourly or salaried positions.

Survey respondents also assessed the local labor pool. More than nine in 10 respondents rated Missouri’s supply of craft personnel as fair or better in terms of ability to pass background checks. Eighty-five percent rated the local labor pool as fair or better in ability to pass drug tests. Seventy-eight percent said the workforce was well trained or skilled.


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