Despite high unemployment, the recovery in the housing market has created a shortage of carpenters, framers, roofers, and plumbers, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
A NAHB survey discovered that more than half of builders reported labor shortages over the past six months, which forced them to pay higher wages or hire subcontractors to complete the project.
This caused delays in completing projects on time. It also caused 15% of respondent builders to turn down projects and 9% said they lost or cancelled sales.
NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a homebuilder from Charlotte, N.C., noted that the labor shortage is due to the severe housing downturn that started back in 2006.
“What used to be high-paying, skilled jobs vanished as builders across the nation went out of business or were forced to let workers go,” he said.
Builders are also facing shortages of building lots, rising costs of materials and limited access to credit, according to NAHB director of economic services Stephen Melman.
“It is a recovery in slow motion and a lot of the pieces are not working yet,” the NAHB director said.