Two recent Wall Street Journal articles reveal that labor pressures are mounting in the construction industry as hiring accelerates across the U.S. economy. The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 211,000 in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, the lowest level in nearly a decade. Contractors across the country report significant shortages of electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and other skilled and semi-skilled laborers as the volume of building projects increases.
The shortage of skilled labor in many markets has forced contractors to boost pay scales, which has been a contributing factor to new home price increases over the past two years. Construction labor costs are currently rising an average of 4% to 5% annually, outpacing inflation, according to Anirban Basu, chief economist of the Associated Builders and Contractors. “The situation is going to get worse,” he said (http://dtn.fm/bm4Uu). It’s estimated that the construction industry presently needs 500,000 more skilled and semi-skilled workers, while another 600,000+ additional workers would be needed should the $1 trillion infrastructure bill proposed by the current administration be passed.
The skilled labor supply shortage isn’t expected to ease soon, as many top construction workers went to work for energy companies during the last building downturn and are now tending to oil rigs and building drilling platforms. ProBility Media Corp. (OTCQB: PBYA) is playing a major role in meeting this fast growing demand for job training and continuing education in the current economy. ProBility is one of the leading online providers of career advancement and training content for tradesmen and technical experts. By building the first full-service training and career advancement brand in the technical fields, the company is changing the landscape of the skilled trades training and certification industry.
ProBility is committed to preparing individuals with training, support, and continued education and teaches the skills needed to land and retain good jobs. The company, through strategic acquisitions, has also become one of the go-to sources for e-learning and training content, exam preparation, testing, certification, continuing education, and career advancement tools for both engineers and tradesmen. The broad collection of the company’s comprehensive educational programs is unparalleled, providing individuals and institutions with the skill sets needed to succeed. ProBility will continue to organically grow revenues from current operations while also strategically acquiring synergistic companies, thereby defragmenting and centralizing the skilled trades training marketplace.
The national unemployment rate for construction workers still remains in double digits, but economists note that figure includes both skilled and unskilled workers and finding a skilled worker not already working is increasingly rare. Finding highly specialized trade workers “is proving very, very difficult,” said James Bolger, director of operations at Colorado Concept Lighting Inc., a high-end electrical contractor that has sought for several months to double its staff of four electricians. “It’s almost like looking for a unicorn or jackalope…” (http://dtn.fm/PfZ0C).
ProBility is changing the search for skilled workers from fantasy to reality and is likely to reward investors along the way.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ProBilityMedia.com