The Construction Industry’s Haircut – Shortage of Skilled Labor

barber shop

Time for a haircut?

If you’re like me, haircuts tend to be the last thing on your mind. It’s not until my ears disappear in the mirror do I recognize my need to visit the Barber Shop. Only then do I make my way to my to one of three locations in my city of 35,000 people. On the drive there, I am thinking of how nice it’s going to be to have perhaps a shave, a haircut and some talc powder on my neck to send me on my way. But I am also thinking about the visit because I know the place can get crowded. Real crowded.

To make it worse, there’s an empty chair where Eddie used to cut hair before he retired. Not to mention Larry only comes in on certain days because he’s in his 70’s. And Charlie, well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to retire sometime soon because he likes to travel and spend time with his family. This is bad for me because there are fewer barbers around today. Did you know, a barber is specifically trained up to 20 months to cut men’s hair, use clippers, and provide the services of a straight razor? This ain’t no beauty parlor. There’s whiskers, nose hairs and bushy eyebrows to tame.  So, who’s going to take their place?

So what does all this have to do with the construction industry?

According to a survey of Associated Builders and Contractors members, 75 percent of respondents’ companies are experiencing a shortage of willing and qualified craft professionals. These results support the findings of the Construction Labor Market Analyzers’ 20/20 Foresight Report, which shows there will be a nationwide shortage of nearly 2 million skilled craft workers by 2017. It is thought that the worker shortage is likely the result of the nearly 30 percent of the construction workforce lost at the peak of the recession combined with an aging workforce, an insufficient pipeline of new workers and lost workers that moved on to other industries. If you are interested in seeing how Alabama is addressing the issue, please visit

How does it affect my project?

Most capital project planners do their best to forecast the cost of a project from conception. Many times we have seen, particularly in our role as a pre-selected general contractor or Construction Manager, our conceptual budgets become the catalyst for construction buyers to move forward with a project. With shortages in labor, the industry will experience an increase in cost of construction. For instance, if you want to replicate your prototype building that you built last year, you can expect to see an increase in cost due to the inability to provide labor on the project.  Additionally, the shortage of skilled labor can leave you desiring greater quality that was usually found in craftsmen of yester-year.

How can I ensure the success of my project?

Let Wyatt General Contractor help you with your next capital expenditure. Since 1976, we have trained and employed the highest quality craftspeople in the Southeast. Our reputation for quality follows us from project to project. From the outset, key components of your project will include budgeting, scheduling, and design review. After your plans are finalized, subcontractor procurement, quality assurance, and construction will occur under the watchful eye of seasoned industry veterans. Don’t risk the success of your project with someone else; just like you wouldn’t get a bad haircut.


Wyatt General Contractor, LLC is one of the Southeast’s oldest and most established general contracting firms. With nearly 40 years of proven excellence, our company stands focused on the values of customer service, quality workmanship, and integrity in every endeavor.