Most U.S. construction firms in survey plan to boost hiring in 2016

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A recent survey from Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate finds that 71 percent of U.S. construction firms plan to boost hiring in 2016 in anticipation of growing public and private market demands, suggesting the construction industry is optimistic about the future.

“The construction industry will continue to recover in 2016 as many firms add to their head count amid growing demand in a range of private and public sector markets,” Associated General Contractors CEO Stephen Sandherr said. “The industry also faces a number of challenges that have the potential to dampen, and possibly even undermine, the sector’s recovery.”

One of these challenges remains shortages in qualified workers. There are also concerns about computer security and new regulatory burdens, which could inhibit the growth of the construction industry.

“What is particularly striking about the findings on worker shortages is that they are consistent with the responses from last year’s outlook,” Ken Simonson, the group's chief economist, said. “In other words, after a year of raising pay and increasing benefits, contractors remain as worried about the lack of qualified workers as they were at the beginning of 2015.”

Kansas contractors are the most optimistic in their plans for hiring more people in the upcoming year among states with the most respondents, with Pennsylvania being the most pessimistic.

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