Labor Shortage Affecting all Areas of Home Construction

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A new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released in June 2016 found that the labor shortage is growing in the residential building industry.

Thirty-six percent of those NAHB builder members responding to the survey said there is some shortage in roofing, and nine percent said there was a serious shortage. That is up from 34 and six percent, respectively. The type of labor experiencing the worst home construction shortage are carpenters with nearly 50 percent responding there was some shortage, and 23 percent saying there is a serious shortage.

These shortages have been affecting business, causing 75 percent of builders to pay higher wages/subcontractor bids, 64 percent to have difficulty completing projects on time, and 37 percent to look for labor from a wider geographic area.

We’ve been hearing from our contractors about the labor shortage and their struggle to meet their job demands with fewer workers. It is an important issue around the country. We highlighted some tips in our blog post, 5 Ways to Hire and Retain During a Construction Labor Shortage. GAF also held the Hire-A-Hero Roofing Academy program last month to help put military veterans back to work training for a job in the roofing industry.

How has your company dealt with the labor shortage? Do you have any tips for finding and hiring workers? Please share your comments below.


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  1. Josh Hudson

    Hey Liza,

    The numbers are alarming and it seems like it’s only going to get worse; some estimates cite a skilled trades job-vacancy of 1.6 million in the next 5 years.

    But there are terrific tradesmen out there and we’re doing our part over at The Trade Exchange to connect the best tradesmen to GCs and builders. We recently launched The Trade Exchange app to help fill the labor gap; it instantly notifies local tradesmen and subs when contractors need help. It’s a little like Uber for Trades.

    So far we’ve helped hundreds of contractors connect with hundreds of subs and tradesmen across the country. And as we continue to grow and add new members, we hope to build a nation-wide network where contractors can always find the right pros, for the right jobs, at the right time.

    Our app is free to use and our goal is to help all construction and remodeling professionals work together more efficiently. And with the labor shortage gap continuing to widen, technology will play an important role in dealing with the issue.


  2. eddie

    Well when it comes down to it i think the best people to hire is people you know. When you know someone its alot better because you know their capabilities and skills. you can weed out the bad apples by knowing your workers on a personal level. Even a friend of a friend would work fine as well. I think the shortage could have something to do with this economy that we’re in, but it then again it could be anything

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