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Chart of the Month: Construction industry growth outpacing skilled equipment operator talent


According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the GDP value added by the construction industry has steadily grown over the past five years to a total of $792,509,000 in 2016 (an increase of about $208.9 million from 2012). As construction output demand continues to rise, it’s outpacing the growth of equipment operators within the industry, creating a shortage of skilled workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the national employment of operating engineers and other construction equipment engineers has only increased by about 21,600 in the past five years, with current estimates of employment at 417,100 for 2026. To keep up with the demand, the construction industry must look to close the skilled equipment operator gap by working to retain current and attract new talent. Many organizations are already taking steps to address the shortage by increasing pay, developing educational/training programs, offering better benefits or hiring freelance operators.

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016) [Data Included from 2012 – 2016]

** Bureau of Labor Statistics (Construction Equipment Operators Job Outlook)

*** Bureau of Economic Analysis (Gross-Domestic-Product-(GDP)-by-Industry Data; Value Added)

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