Land surveyors union says the shortage of surveyors is costing jobs in California and Texas, and that it is seeking more workers from outside the industry.
The surveyors group filed a petition in the state’s Supreme Court Tuesday, saying that the state lacks a national workforce to fill the vacancies, which have created a shortfall in surveyors for more than a decade.
Land surveyor union members in Texas, which has the second-highest number of vacancies, say they are unable to find enough people to fill those vacancies.
Land surveys were the backbone of the U.S. survey system, which was set up in response to the Great Depression.
Today, more than 500,000 land surveyors are employed in the U, including nearly 700,000 in California, according to the Association of State and Territorial Surveyors.
That number is expected to rise to more than 1 million by 2021, according the National Association of Land Surveyors, a trade group.
Land surveying in Texas has a backlog of more than 2 million surveyors, according in a report by the Texas Land Surveyor Association.
A spokesman for the Texas Association of Surveyors said the shortage is an occupational shortage because of the rapid growth in construction and other industries.
He said Texas has lost nearly 500 surveyors since 2011, mostly because of construction.
He declined to give details about the jobs.
Buckley Land Surveying Inc. has a contract with the California Department of Water Resources for a survey on more than 7,300 acres in Santa Clara County that would include a new road that will connect to a planned road that runs through the area, said company spokesman Mike Stoll.
The company was able to hire more surveyors after the road project was completed in late 2019, Stoll said.
The company has also hired more surveyers in Texas in recent years, Stolls said.
A recent survey in the Dallas area revealed that a contractor had hired a new surveyor in Texas to help the company complete a survey in El Paso.
That contractor has worked at the site for more or less the last few years, he said.
Buckleys surveyor group says the number of vacant land survey positions in California has increased from a few hundred in the mid-2000s to more of 2,000 now.
It also says that surveyors in Texas are unable or unwilling to fill vacancies.
In Texas, surveyors have a backlog in a contract worth nearly $2 million, and the state is seeking to hire another contractor to help with the backlog, said David Bierman, vice president of government relations for the California Association of Contractors.
“We have a huge backlog,” Biermann said.
The state is asking the federal government to fund a survey to fill vacant land surveys, and it is hoping the federal agency will approve the project.
Land surveyors across the country have been working in a shortage since 2008, when a contract for surveyors was signed to work on the California Coast Guard’s $4.8 billion Loma Prieta Mine expansion project.
But many surveyors and their unions have been frustrated with what they say is a lack of hiring of qualified candidates and an inability to hire enough surveyors to fill any vacancies.
A new report by an independent agency says there is a shortage of 2.8 million surveyees across the U., including more than 835,000 surveyors.
The report by The Surveyors Federation of America (SSFA) said the survey shortage is hurting the economy and causing job losses in the fields of finance, accounting, accounting software and other fields.
The SSFA said the federal survey service is not meeting the requirements for hiring qualified surveyors at a cost of over $20 billion.