11/15/2019

California construction firms have too few workers. Can tech fix that?

U.S. construction companies are grappling with a widespread labor shortage that is exacerbating the cost of housing and other buildings, according to a new survey.

Eighty percent of the 2,552 U.S. construction companies surveyed said they are having difficulty hiring construction workers, according to the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk, an engineering software maker in San Rafael. That’s up from 70 percent a year ago. Eighty percent of the 127 California companies in the survey also reported having a hard time finding construction workers, up from 62 percent a year ago.

. . .Rising construction costs have stalled housing projects in San Francisco, and some developers are now selling land rather than building. Fewer new homes will worsen the housing crisis and reduce the city’s fees for affordable housing, real estate developers previously told The Chronicle.

In California, 38 percent of the companies said the labor shortage has led to project cost overruns.

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