The lack of skilled construction labor is a key limiting factor to expanding home construction and improving housing inventory and affordability. The latest Construction Labor Market Report from the Home Builders Institute (HBI), provides an outlook for residential construction employment and includes state-level employment data.
Key findings in the report include:
- The construction industry currently needs approximately 723,000 new construction workers each year to meet demand (residential construction represents 3.2 million of the construction payroll employment of 7.9 million).
- The number of open construction sector jobs currently averages between 300,000 to 400,000 every month.
- At least 90 percent of single-family builders responding to a survey reported a shortage of carpenters, and 80 to 85 percent reported a shortage of subcontractors in six other trades
- More than 80 percent of remodelers reported a shortage of subcontractors in 11 of the 16 trades.
- The share of construction workers aged 25 to 54 dropped by six percent over the past seven years.
According to Ed Brady, HBI president and CEO, the facts show the construction industry today must focus on three urgent priorities:
- Promote training and jobs in the trades to those people who have not yet considered a career in construction;
- Support immigration reform designed to produce the next generation of new Americans seeking opportunity in the United States; and
- Advocate for housing affordability by demonstrating the direct link between the nation’s housing shortage and its construction labor shortage.
To learn more about the current state of the nation’s construction labor market view the full report.