Job crisis? Fewer young people are going into construction: report

Young people are shying away from the construction industry, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.

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Construction work requires intense hands-on work that comes with a high level of training but parents are urging their kids to get a college degree.

From 2005 to 2016, the percentage of construction workers aged 24 years and younger has dropped around 30% in 48 states.

The states hit the hardest by a shortage of young workers -- which were also among the states affected the worst by the housing crisis -- include Delaware, Vermont and California.

Massachusetts, New Jersey and California have the some of the nation’s highest living costs, but also have the worst total shortage of construction workers.

In 2005, there were a total of 11.7 million construction workers, and in 2016 that number dipped to 10.2 million.

The report cites a few possible reasons why young people aren’t working in the construction industry:

  • Fewer high schools are offering vocational training programs, which would help train students before entering the workforce.
  • Many parents would rather see their kids get a college degree and work in a white-collar industry.
  • Lastly, many builders would rather have skilled workers come on to their project because training an unskilled worker requires time and money, on top of rising material costs.