A lack of both workers and subcontractors continues to plague the home building industry, notes a new report issued by the National Association of Home Builders.
In the group’s latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, respondents in fifteen home building categories reported varying degrees of shortages, with a very large 83 percent of framers identifying shortages.
The smallest percentage, at 47 percent, was seen in the building maintenance management category.
The numbers ranged between 70 percent and 82 percen in the concrete workers, bricklayers and masons, and carpenters category.
Altogether, shortages reached an industry-wide 69 percent, the largest such figure reported by the NAHB since such numbers were first compiled in the 1990s.
In looking at the numbers, the NAHB’s Eye On Housing blog additionally focused on the subcontractor portion of the equation, noting, “Recently, shortages of subcontractors have been more severe than shortages of labor builders directly employed.”
A possible reason for that gap may be explained in the number of laid off workers who started their own subcontracting business during the Great Recession, but have since decided to give up those businesses in favor of working for other companies.
“This would improve the availability of workers directly employed by builders while reducing the availability of subcontractors,” the NAHB report suggests.
By Garry Boulard
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