News & Press

California’s Construction Industry Feeling Optimistic for 2019

Workforce Shortages Primary Concern Among Industry Anticipating Growth

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC CA) among their members found the construction industry feeling optimistic about business for 2019. The industry projects strong to moderate business activity and expansion for the year. Key statistics include:

  • More than 95 percent anticipate steady to strong business activity
  • Nearly 70 percent foresee the industry expanding moderately to significantly
  • Sixty-five percent of contractors plan to hire more this year than last
  • Nearly 60 percent anticipate revenue will increase moderately

This overwhelming trust in industry expansion falls in tandem with an equally aggressive intention by contractors to increase hiring. While contractors plan to hire more this year than last, the biggest concern among the industry is ensuring there are enough individuals to do the work. Workforce shortages was the number one concern among survey takers who expressed qualms on finding and recruiting qualified and skilled workers. 

“The strength of California’s construction industry is a vital indicator of the state’s economic health. But the industry’s success, and consequently California’s progress, relies on a highly-skilled workforce,” said Peter Tateishi, CEO, AGC CA. “We must find creative solutions to motivate young professionals to explore the construction industry and to highlight the immense opportunities that exist for a successful career building California.”  

Earlier this year, AGC of America conducted a national outlook survey and found 30% of firms nationwide agree that a workforce shortage is the biggest concern. Nationally, while the construction industry is anticipated to grow, workforce shortages are a unique concern among industry leaders in California. 

Concerns over workforce shortages and the ability to find talent in California were highlighted in a study last year by AGC of America who found 78 percent of firms in California were having a hard time filling craft positions and 68 percent were having a hard time filling salaried positions. With 65 percent of California contractors planning to hire this year, and many expressing challenges in filling positions, a creative approach to attracting workers to the industry is a core priority and part of AGC CA’s mission. 

AGC CA manages the Construction Education Foundation to motivate and develop California’s current and future construction workforce. The Foundation runs a Construction Career Awareness Program, oversees 12 AGC Student Chapters at two and four-year accredited schools, and grant scholarships to young men and women pursuing post-secondary education or training programs in construction-related programs. 

“AGC CA is cognizant of our central role in fostering the next generation of California’s construction workforce,” said Erin Volk, Vice President, Workforce & Community Development, AGC CA. “Our members are telling us they have jobs but can’t fill them and that is a problem we are and will continue to take on whole heartedly to help motivate the next generation to see the strong career pathways that exist within the construction industry. Our Construction Education Foundation is just one example of our long-term pledge to prioritize investing in a skilled and motivated construction workforce in 2019 and the years to come.”

You can view the Optimism Survey Results and 2018 Year in Review infographic here.

2019 AGC Optimism Survey Results Infographic   2018 AGC Year In Review Infographic


About Associated General Contractors of California

Founded in 1920, the Associated General Contractors of California is the premier organization of choice for both experienced and next generation construction and contracting professionals. Through dedicated advocacy, education, career development and networking opportunities, AGC members receive top-tier access with state and local governments, while connecting with industry leaders through responsive services and innovative programs and events. With more than 1,000 contractors, specialty, and associate member companies throughout California, AGC members represent the full spectrum of the construction industry. For more information, please visit: