NAHB: Jobs in construction increase, but skilled labor shortage remains
Since the Great Recession decimated the industry, the number of available construction jobs has been increasing, NAHB said, but a skilled labor shortage is still leaving many jobs unfilled.
According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data analysis by the National Association of Home Builders, there were 214,000 open construction jobs in July 2016 — the second highest monthly count of open, unfilled jobs since May 2007.
“Residential construction offers a number of fulfilling career opportunities from architects and engineers to carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. “Yet our builders are telling us that access to skilled labor remains a top challenge.”
The association said many of the workers who left the industry during the recession haven’t returned to construction, which has led to the labor shortage and delays in completing projects on time. The delays can increase the cost of building homes, which in turn makes houses more expensive for consumers, the association said.
“As the housing industry continues to recover, we are focused on training more workers and leaders to fill these important roles,” Brady said.
NAHB’s educational partner the Home Builders Institute is helping to fill open construction jobs with young workers by offering educational programs in 41 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 13,000 students each year.
The association also offers its student chapters program, which offers students a firsthand look at the construction industry through NAHB membership, educational programming and networking opportunities.