New Metric of Workforce Availability among Construction Occupations and Regions

Mohammed A. Albattah, Paul M. Goodrum, Timothy R.B. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


American, European, and Australian construction markets are facing a shortage in quality and quantity of skilled craft workers. There are initial indications that the shortages are already having a significant impact on project performance in the industrial construction sector. With construction craft workers becoming a critical commodity whose supply can impact a project performance, an accurate metric is needed to estimate the supply. Unfortunately, labor supply metrics based on publicly available data are rate and often inaccurate. This paper's contribution to the overall body of knowledge is to create and apply a new multi-indicator metric, using a public dataset, to measure national and regional craft worker availability in the construction industry. The metric can be applied for any country using the country's respective public datasets. The metric is demonstrated using data from the United States. Of the many available indicators for identifying the shortage, the authors of this paper focused on three: employment growth, wage growth, and unemployment. The multi-indicator metric's ranking scale is applied using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Population Survey (CPS) dataset. The findings show that craft worker availability at the national level is different than the craft worker availability at the regional level for different occupations. The most affected occupation among the observed data was "pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters," which is related to industrial projects, and the most affected regions were the West and South regions of the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04019003
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Construction labor market
  • Craft worker availability
  • Multi-indicator metric
  • Workforce shortage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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