Business
5:16 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Construction Firms Report Shortage In Labor Pool

Construction firms across the country are looking for skilled workers to fill positions but are running into a shortage of craftsmen.

A survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America shows at least 74 percent of construction firms are having difficulty finding skilled workers like carpenters and 53 percent report the same problem for administrative jobs.

The numbers are even more stark for San Antonio: About 83 percent say they can’t find the workers they need.

San Antonio Chapter vice president Doug McMurry said there was a decrease in skilled workers available starting in the recession -- including immigrant workers.

"There has been a decline with authorized immigrants," McMurry said. "We don’t track, in fact generally speaking don’t employ, illegal immigrants; however, we’re supportive of a pathway to citizenship so that they can participate in the economy."

A proposed cap included in the Senate’s immigration bill would’ve limited the number of work visas for the nation’s construction industry to about 16,000 -- McMurry said the cap is arbitrary.

The association is calling for nationwide immigration and education reforms to curb shortages in the future.