Last year marked a milestone for the country’s youngest generation of workers, commonly known as millennials: They overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce segment in America. Employers should be ecstatic that elevated rates of retirement are positioned to be offset by an influx of younger, energetic, tech-savvy workers ready to stimulate productivity.
But in the construction industry, firms continue to wrestle with skills shortages as older workers in occupational categories such as welding and carpentry retire in large numbers with their potential successors disproportionately pursuing jobs in industries such as finance, professional services and health care. In 2002, 11 percent of construction workers were aged 55 or older, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2015, this share exceeded 20 percent, per the Current Population Survey.
What’s more, despite massive growth in the population of twenty-somethings in recent years, by 2015 the fraction of construction workers between the ages of 20 and 24 was around 7 percent—down from 11 percent a decade ago.
This is hardly where millennials’ impact on construction ends. Continue reading “How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry”