The construction industry today faces some intimidating challenges. On top of widespread issues with timeliness and expenses, the sector faces a growing labor shortage. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 81% of construction firms have difficulty filling positions.
This worker shortage is driving an already notoriously behind-schedule and over-budget industry’s productivity to suffer. A 2019 survey revealed that 70% of construction businesses report that they’re struggling to meet deadlines because of the shortage. Another 63% said that new work is more expensive now because of it.
Technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), can help. While IoT devices won’t fix all of the industry’s problems, they can provide short-term solutions to the labor shortage.
To understand how the IoT can help, you have to know the factors behind the labor shortage. A significant reason for it is that younger generations aren’t as interested in the industry. Most construction workers are older, and younger workers aren’t filling the vacancies they leave.
This disinterest in the sector stems from several misconceptions and stereotypes. For example, 61% of surveyed contractors have heard many people believe that construction is “dirty” work. Another 55% heard similar things about people thinking these jobs require brute strength.
It takes time and exposure for these misconceptions to fade, but they’re not the only obstacle, either. Construction is skilled labor and requires a potentially lengthy training process for new hires. This may turn some away from the industry and slow the integration of those who do join.