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56% of Surveyed Home Builders Report Labor Shortage

Lack of skilled workers caused 28 percent of builders to turn down some projects

June 29, 2016

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a survey that shows that the share of builders reporting either some or a serious shortage of labor and subcontractors has risen from 21 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016.

NAHB's Special Question on Labor and Subcontractors' Availability  found that on average, the labor shortage has increased the cost of building a house 3.92 percent, with some reporting an increase of 15 percent or more. The report shows that 75 percent of builders are having to pay higher wages and/or subcontractor bid, as well as raising home prices.

Based on an average of 9 trades, finding workers to do rough carpentry affected 72-percent of the contractor respondents and 43-percent felt a shortage in excavator operators.

The NAHB also looked at the effect subcontractors experiencing difficulty finding workers has on home builders. NAHB says that on a typical single family home, 75 percent of the construction is done by subcontractors. When subcontractors cannot find workers, home builders feel the pain. This secondary labor shortage is adding significant costs to the price of building a home.

For the survey details, download the NAHB survey here.

Source: NAHB Eye On Housing

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