Boston, MA Massachusetts’ construction industry unemployment rate of 3.9% for December was third lowest in the country, as the industry continues to boom in the commonwealth.
“A shortage of qualified workers is currently the biggest challenge Massachusetts contractors face as they try to keep pace with rising demand, especially in the Boston area,” said Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts (ABC MA) president Greg Beeman.
The figures are not seasonably adjusted. Massachusetts construction unemployment rate is well below the 5.9% national rate at a time of year when construction activity typically slows in cooler climates.
To address the issue, ABC MA has launched http://www.buildingmasscareers.com, a website that highlights the benefits of a career in construction. ABC MA will also use a state grant it was awarded late last year to develop a pre-apprenticeship program aimed at inner-city young people that will seek to instill a strong work ethic and provide participants with basic construction training.
Construction Backlog Indicator data compiled for the Boston-to-Washington corridor shows that at 10.2 months, the current backlog is tied for longest since ABC’s national office began calculating it.
Looking ahead, demand is expected to remain strong. According to the most recent survey of ABC’s national board of directors, 76% think sales will increase over the next six months and 68% say the size of their workforce will increase in that time.