Recovery of European construction sector leads to labour shortage

In most European countries the construction sector shows promising figures (increasing construction volumes) for the near future. The vast majority of European architects therefore experiences a quantitative (and qualitative) labour shortage on the short run. Labour shortage seems to be a growing issue in the construction sector as an increased amount of architects experiences this development compared to previous years. In the UK and Germany in particular, a substantial increase in quantitative labour shortage is seen in the past 12 months, whilst in Italy and France most architects are already experiencing a shortage of skilled employees. These are some of the conclusions of the European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly market research among 1,600 architects in eight European countries.

There are some clear developments regarding the architects’ experience and expectations towards the quantitative labour shortage in the upcoming years. The biggest increase of architects who already experience a shortage is seen in the United Kingdom and in Germany. However also in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland an increased amount of architects already experiences a quantitative labour shortage compared to 2014.  According to a study commissioned by the European parliament published in March 2015 there is a strong correlation between the economic recession, which strongly influenced the construction sector, and labour shortage. Therefore the experience of the architects and their expectations regarding labour shortage in the next few years is again an indicator the construction sector is recovering.

Next to a growing number of architects who expect a quantitative labour shortage, the majority also thinks there are inadequately skilled workers on the construction labour market. Especially in France and Italy, but also in the UK, Belgium and Poland more architects already experience a qualitative labour shortage compared to previous years.

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of Dirk Hoogenboom

degruijl@usp-mc.nl
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