When discussing trends in the Constructioninsurance marketplace, experts agree: The greatest concern is a shortage in skilled labor to meet the growing demand in projects.

"This is probably the single largest issue in the construction industry—the lack of qualified and experienced talent, at all levels: not just field labor, but project engineering, project management, leadership, etc." says Brian Cooper, managing director of Arthur J. Gallagher's National Construction Practice. "There's just a dearth of experienced and talented people."

Like many lingering issues in sectors all across the U.S. economy, the deep recession that began in December 2007 is largely to blame for the talent shortage. Gary Kaplan, president, North America Construction at XL Catlin, says unemployment in the construction sector climbed to more than 20% during the downturn. Years went by during the slow recovery, and now, as construction picks up, the remaining workforce is older and nearing retirement—"and they haven't done a good job of training the next generation," he adds.

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