Many construction contractors are struggling to find qualified employees, the Associated General Contractors of America said in a note accompanying its new analysis of national jobs data.

The number of employed construction workers increased in three-fifths of surveyed metro areas between August 2015 and August of this year, the AGC said, adding it was the smallest increase in more than three years.   

Schools need to do more to boost the profile of construction among students, officials added.

While the number of metro areas with employment increases has been slipping, the number with decreases — 76 in August — has held roughly steady," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Meanwhile, job openings have been at a 10-year high but hiring has stalled in many parts of the country. Together, these facts make it clear that the slowdown in hiring has more to do with workforce shortages than shortages of work."