The economy is growing and people are wanting to buy houses, but the construction industry is finding it hard to attract employees to get orders filled, according to a story on Reddit.
In an interview on Christian Broda, he said “new building permits are slowing, but construction company owners say there is good demand. Their problem is finding enough skilled labor to build those houses”.
The shortage is in the “9-trade” area, which involves the nine essential trades needed in building homes. The shortage is higher than it was when the housing market peaked in 2004. In that year there were 2 million new housing starts nationwide. This year there is about half that but the same labor shortage.
Unemployment among skilled construction workers is at its lowest since 2001.
Real estate experts say the culprit is an expanding economy and a wider variety of opportunities, which makes the construction business less appealing. The market was slow for a very long time, and many skilled workers found good jobs in other industries, and have no desire to come back. This must be the case as demand for new housing rises and companies spend more to get work done, but still cannot find workers.
Another aspect is that with new labor laws, construction companies have lost workers from Mexico and South America, the owner of a construction company in South Carolina said. He added high schools have programs but are turning out fewer graduates.