Home-Builders Glad People Have Jobs Again, Can’t Find Enough Workers To Build Houses

For most of the last decade, people haven’t been all that interested in building new houses: they were worried about their jobs, didn’t have jobs, or were underwater on the mortgage on their current home. While the economy has improved enough that people feel confident building houses, it’s also improved enough that it’s hard to find construction workers.

Experts who spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek speculate that the shortage is because qualified people left the industry while there hasn’t been any work for them in recent years. They might have decided to pursue other careers while business was slow, or retired, or returned to their native countries, but the slowdown in new construction meant that no new workers were learning the trade to replace them.

The National Association of Home Builders has asked Congress to approve a guest visa program to borrow builders from other countries while there’s reportedly a shortage of qualified workers: usually more than a fifth of people working in the construction trades nationwide are born outside of this country.

Instead, people who want to build new houses are in for a wait of a year or so. The good news for construction workers is that a shortage means that their skills are in demand, and they’ll be paid more.

Labor Shortage Sparks Production Delays for Homebuilders [Bloomberg News]

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