The construction industry makes a significant contribution to the US economy, and, in Texas revenue from construction accounts for over 5% of the state’s GDP. With investment in a range of new infrastructure projects, new businesses are being drawn to the state and its economy continues to grow. At the same time, new building projects need reliable workers with the essential qualifications required for working in construction, but some companies are still struggling to recruit as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. By offering attractive salaries, improving health and safety and looking at alternative ways to complete building projects, the construction industry in Texas could still continue to thrive.
Retaining Laborers with Benefits and Better Safety
Almost 700,000 people work in the construction industry in Texas and earn an average annual salary of more than $60,000. Despite attractive benefits, the construction industry can also be hazardous and, if they experience poor safety levels at work, high quality and experienced laborers will still leave the industry. Falls and vehicle crashes were common causes of accidents in the building industry in Austin last year, and some resulted in a number of construction worker fatalities. Employers are not required to provide workers compensation in Texas, so anyone who experiences a construction workplace injury in Austin may need help in understanding how their insurance coverage will affect their recovery. To reassure their workers and reduce accident rates, construction firms throughout Texas must be held responsible for the safety and wellbeing of their workforce on site.
Increasing Job Opportunities in Construction
The construction industry is leading the way for job gains in Texas and, last December, 7,400 more construction jobs were created in the Dallas Fort Worth area than the year before while Houston added 8,800 jobs giving it the country’s largest gains in the building sector. Specific projects planned elsewhere include USA BioEnergy’s $1.7 billion refinery in Bon Wier which as well as the 142 new jobs on completion will open up around 600 jobs directly in construction or related work during its build. Despite this growth, one industry group has estimated that across the whole of the US, over 270,000 construction jobs remain unfilled as contractors struggle to fill the positions with qualified workers.
Off Site Construction Reduces On Site Labor
As a result of labor shortages, one construction company in Austin has only filled half the positions required on some of their projects, and it is now looking at alternative ways in which work can be completed in a timely fashion. By using more prefabricated materials, the company is able to reduce the number of workers needed on site. As items such as exterior walls are built off site, they can help to improve building schedules as they are considerably quicker and easier to install.
While in Texas there are an increasing number of job opportunities arising in the construction industry, contractors are having to work harder in order to fill the positions with suitably qualified workers.