The construction industry has a labor shortage. That’s putting it mildly: there are nearly 10,000 fewer construction workers today than there were in 2006. And it’s not just because people aren’t interested in manual labor anymore—the industry simply doesn’t have enough trained workers to fill all the open positions. Say’s Mark Mariani, this is a problem that affects every level of residential construction projects, from framing to drywall installation. Here’s what you need to know about how this shortage impacts your home building project and what you can do about it if you’re getting started on one now:
There is a major labor shortage in the construction industry
You may be wondering why there is a labor shortage in the construction industry. This has been building for years, but there are two main factors that have contributed to this issue:
- A lack of qualified workers
- A shift in demographics
A worker shortage means that wages and benefits must rise
The impact of labor shortages on residential construction projects is significant. A worker shortage means that wages and benefits must rise, which can result in higher construction costs. This can have a negative impact on the housing market as well as other industries that rely on residential construction (such as furniture manufacturers).
The worker shortage will have a significant impact on residential construction projects
The worker shortage will have a significant impact on residential construction projects.
The labor shortage is driving up wages and driving down output, which means that contractors will not be able to finish as many projects in a given period of time as they did before the shortage began.
Labor shortages are driving up wages and driving down output, so contractors can’t hire as many workers as they need to build new homes.
Labor shortages have been a problem for years, but are now reaching crisis levels as the housing market continues to recover. In fact, the problem has been exacerbated by recent immigration policy changes under President Donald Trump’s administration.
The root cause of this labor shortage is simple: not enough people want to work in construction anymore. The industry has suffered from a lack of interest since its heyday during the housing boom from 2001-2007 and continues to struggle despite record low unemployment rates across all demographics in 2018 (4). This decline began before Trump took office–when he was still just an Apprentice host with big ideas about building walls–but it has worsened since then due to his policies on immigration (5).
The labor shortage in the construction industry is real, and it’s going to have a significant impact on residential construction projects. We are already seeing wages rise and output fall as contractors struggle to find enough workers. In order for these projects to get built, contractors will need to find ways of hiring more workers or reducing their workloads so they can afford higher salaries without sacrificing quality workmanship or finishing deadlines.