SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

October 28, 2015 06:15 ET

For Skilled Craft Labor, Chicago is 'A Tale of Two Cities,' an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2015) - Industrial Info Resource's (Sugar Land, Texas) -- most recent quarterly update to its "Illinois Zone 1 -- Labor Supply, Demand & Wages" subscription service shows project spending gathering momentum over the next few years for the Greater Chicago area. However, because of the types of projects occurring, some skilled crafts will be in short supply, while others will show a surplus, with workers perhaps having to travel to nearby locations for work. This is not the full analysis and is only a summary of highlights. The Labor Forecast is a special "risk assessment" tool to understand future dislocations in labor and wage pressures.

Project spending in the Greater Chicago area suffered several years of decline following the recession of 2008. Spending in 2009 fell below 2008 levels and continued falling each subsequent year through 2012, when it fell to about $4 billion, before gradually edging upward to reach approximately $5 billion this year. From 2010 and 2014, spending in Greater Chicago grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.5% with a labor hour growth rate of 1.0%. However, new project spending in the area is set to take off.

Although Industrial Info is expecting a slight dip in spending in 2016, the area's peak spending lies ahead and is forecast to reach over $6 billion per year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, bringing CAGR of 6.8% over the next four years and an accompanying increase in labor demand. The wind power and industrial manufacturing sectors are key drivers of this increased activity.

With this increased spending activity, Industrial Info is expecting to see noticeable regional labor shortages in three skilled crafts: millwrights, crane and heavy equipment operators, and boilermakers. Instrumentation technicians will also be in tight supply. Because of this, Industrial Info forecasts that these skilled crafts will experience higher compensation and per diem costs, as well as a higher number of travelers, in the Chicago area in the coming years, particularly from 2018 through 2020.

What makes the situation "a tale of two cities" is that IIR forecasts that carpenters, plumbers/pipefitters, and electricians will have an ample supply of journeymen throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area, which will provide a good location to draw journeymen from surrounding areas with high demand in the next years in areas like Duluth, Toledo and Detroit, which will have a shortfall in some of these crafts.

For a demonstration of Industrial Info's Labor Analysis and Forecast Tool, which provides valuable information for risk assessment, operations and procurement, estimating requirements, and much more, contact Tony Salemme at

Industrial Info Resources (IIR), with global headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, five offices in North America and ten international offices, is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. Industrial Info'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. To contact an office in your area, visit the "Contact Us" page.

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