SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

April 12, 2010 05:20 ET

Manpower Market Analyzer to Be Demonstrated at Labor Conferences in April, a "Navigating the Currents of Change" Webcast on Industrialinfo.com

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwire - April 12, 2010) -  Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- The supply and cost of skilled craft labor could be a problem looking forward to late 2011, and most certainly in 2012 and 2013.

"Every day we are seeing more signs that the U.S. economy is turning around," said Tony Salemme, vice president of the Craft Labor Group at Industrial Info Resources. "Billions of dollars of new capital and maintenance projects are being announced. Federal stimulus funding continues to make its way into the market, supporting construction of light-rail projects and renewable energy projects. President Obama's recent decision to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in certain areas will mean more jobs in that industry. Some economists predict the U.S. economy growing by 3.5% to 4.5% this year."

But Salemme sees the price and availability of skilled craft labor as the critical "X-factor" in the U.S. recovery. "The average journeyman in many skilled crafts is around 55 years old -- only a few years away from retirement. A lot of skilled laborers have moved on to other professions during the last two years, as the recession reduced the need for their specific trade in their geographic area. Many skilled laborers moved to follow work."

Because today's skilled craft labor market has changed significantly over the last few years, cost estimators and construction managers are using an Industrial Info tool -- the Manpower Market Analyzer -- to gather critical local market intelligence on the supply and cost of skilled labor in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across the U.S. and Canada.

"The Manpower Market Analyzer can mean the difference between bidding a job profitably or losing your shirt," Salemme said. "It's not enough for a company to decide it wants to build a capital or maintenance project. To better understand all the potential bottlenecks that could affect that project's schedule and costs, cost estimators and construction managers need to have a tool to assess and forecast local labor markets."

Salemme and his IIR colleagues will be demonstrating the Manpower Market Analyzer at two major labor conferences in Washington, D.C., this month. April 15-17, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) will hold its annual construction and maintenance conference at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. IIR will be exhibiting at this conference. Then, on April 18-21, the Building & Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO will hold its annual legislative conference at the Washington Hilton and Towers. IIR will be exhibiting at Booth 903 at this event.

Forecasts from the Manpower Market Analyzer are based on Industrial Info's current and confirmed project spending information across 12 separate industries across North America, including:

For example, demand for electrician man-hours this year will be very strong in Texas, Alberta, Ontario, and California, according to the Manpower Market Analyzer. Other markets expected to see strong demand for electricians this year include Quebec, Louisiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

"We are already seeing demand for skilled labor exceed its supply in some local markets," Salemme noted. In Ohio, demand for boilermakers' man-hours is expected to surge by about 40% this year compared to last year. California is expected to need 53% more boilermaker man-hours this year than in 2009. Demand for boilermaker man-hours is expected to nearly double in Massachusetts and South Dakota compared to 2009, he said.

"There is not enough skilled crafts labor available in the different remote geographic markets to meet the demand, which means that labor costs could rise in 2011 and 2012 as project managers secure their skilled labor," Salemme said. "We encourage cost estimators and construction managers who are attending the IBEW and the BCTD events in Washington, D.C., this month to come to our booth for a demonstration of the Manpower Market Analyzer."

Click here to join Mr. Salemme for a discussion of anticipated shortages and higher costs of skilled craft labor and how IIR's Manpower Market Analyzer can help, in this edition of "Navigating the Currents of Change."

Industrial Info Resources (IIR) is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. IIR's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle™, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities. For more information, send inquiries to manpower@industrialinfo.com or visit us online at www.industrialinfo.com.

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