A recent Houston Chronicle article details the prolonged shortage of construction workers that is causing the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) calling on Congress for immigration reform. A recent report from the contractors’ group revealed that 78 percent of the construction firms in the state of Texas have had difficulties finding qualified construction workers, and 83% of the firms expect this trend to continue or worsen.
The City of Houston has been leading the nation in new construction jobs and activity since Hurricane Harvey. The Houston metro area saw an increase of 12 percent in construction jobs, or the addition of 25,000 new jobs.
Texas Contractors Seek Immigration Reform Due to Shortage of Workers
As a result, construction firms in Texas are scrambling to fill these positions. Almost 70 percent of these firms have increased pay rate, in-house training, and overtime rates in order to remain competitive with other firms for workers. The collateral effects of this worker shortage include higher bids for construction jobs and jobs taking longer and costing more to complete. Firms are increasingly using “smart” tools and other methods to try and complete work using fewer employees, as prefabricating materials off-site.
AGC is specially recommending that Congress double existing funding for career and technical education over the next five years, as well as allow more people with construction skills to enter the country and fill jobs. Industry leaders believe that those among the undocumented immigrants in Houston have the appropriate skills should identify and be required to work for employers to ensure that they are paying taxes.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to helping both individuals and businesses resolve their immigration-related issues. Immigration law is a complex, ever-changing area of the law that necessitates legal advice from experienced immigration lawyers who keep up-to-date with all relevant changes in law and policy. We will work with you to achieve the most positive outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled immigration attorneys today.