The Associated General Contractors of America, or AGC, says just 13% of Texas contractors plan to add workers in 2014. Critically, none of the respondents expect to lay off workers. Nearly 90% either plan no changes or remain unsure. A shortage of skilled workers remains one of the biggest barriers to hiring — with carpenters and equipment operators being in the shortest supply.
AGC chief economist Ken Simonson says the oil and gas sector is driving most of Texas’ new construction activity.
“The drilling itself counts as mining, but every one of those well sites requires some kind of site preparation, a storage pond, housing for the pumping and processing machinery. We’re also seeing a lot of rail construction to bring natural gas liquids or oil from the fields to the refineries.”
Simonson says Houston remains one of the few metro areas in the nation to benefit from strong office construction.