NAHB: Has the labor shortage reached ‘crisis’ status?

November 2, 2017 LBM Journal

The National Association of Home Builders reports on its NAHB Now blog that it has been a decade since there were this many unfilled construction jobs.

Image credit: NAHB

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted in a recent article that the labor situation is likely to worsen in months ahead.

What does this mean for builders? Here’s what NAHB had to say:

Builders all across the country are struggling to find enough skilled laborers to keep up with housing demand. And nowhere is this more concerning than in the regions of Texas and Florida impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, where the recovery efforts have only just begun.

Even the surrounding areas that sustained minimal storm damage are seeing the effects, as labor continues to be drawn to the storm-affected areas. But the labor shortage had been a primary concern long before this summer’s hurricanes made landfall.

“Everyone in our area is having trouble finding hands that want to work,” said Michael Grassi, project manager of Classic Builders in Wichita Falls, Texas, and president of the North Texas HBA. “Whether it’s bricklayers, framers, you name it — I’m having to [hire] guys from as far away as Oklahoma City to come [to Wichita Falls] and work. And most of them are happy to do it cause they’re getting paid more here where there’s even less competition.”

Grassi says he’s amazed by how much the cost per square foot of a home has increased recently. He’s gradually had to raise the sales prices of his homes as a result of rising costs, but Grassi says he and many builders just like him aren’t seeing an increase in profit margin.

Read the full post from NAHB here.

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