U.S. builders and the subcontractors they depend on are struggling to hire fast enough to meet rising demand for new homes.
Builders would be starting work on more homes — and contributing more to the economy — if they could fill more job openings.
In the meantime, workers in the right locations with the right skills are commanding higher pay.
Consider Richard Vap, who owns a drywall installation company. The resurgent housing market has sent builders calling again. Vap would love to help — if he could hire enough qualified people.
“There is a shortage of manpower,” says Vap, owner of South Valley Drywall in Littleton, Colo. “We’re probably only hiring about 75 or 80 percent of what we actually need.”
The shortage of labor ranges across occupations — from construction superintendents and purchasing agents to painters, cabinet makers and drywall installers. The National Association of Home Builders says its members have complained of too few framers, roofers, plumbers and carpenters. The shortage is most acute in areas where demand for new homes has recovered fastest, notably in Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado and Florida.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor