New Study: Union Construction Industry is Superior at Meeting U.S. Workforce Needs

July 1, 2022

New data from a survey of more than 5,000 contractors nationwide shows that union contractors are better equipped to supply well-trained workers to projects than their non-union counterparts.

With the United States facing a labor shortage in the post-pandemic work environment, the labor market has become a major issue for busi-
nesses. However, an analysis of the situation has found that using union firms may be the solution to the Problem.

According to the survey of the Associated General Contractors of America, researchers found that “the skilled labor shortage is much less severe in the union segment of the industry.”

The survey gathered information from 1,768 union contractors and 3,893 nonunion contractors over a four-year period and showed that union contractors are 21% less likely to experience delays in project completion due to shortages of workers compared to nonunion contractors.

Furthermore, the survey found that union contractors are 14% less likely to experience difficulty in filling craft worker positions than non-union firms.

“When it comes to getting the job done right and on time, our unions will always answer the call,” said Chuck Parker, President of the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades.

An analysis of the data by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (IEPI) stated that “union contractors are better able to attract, develop, and retain skilled construction workers.”

To support this conclusion, the IEPI pointed to joint investment from labor and management in apprenticeship programs and higher pay and benefits as factors that keep union contractors’ skilled labor pipeline strong.

In addition to showing the strength of the union skilled labor pipeline, the survey also found that union contractors are more diverse and inclusive.

The data showed that union contractors are 10% more likely to employ minority workers and 8% more likely to employ veterans.

For more information, and to read the full study, log on to

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