Labor and Subcontractor Shortages Increasing

June 28, 2016

Compared with a year ago, an NAHB survey of single-family builders conducted in June 2016 found that labor and subcontractor shortages are more widespread than they were one year prior.

Across the nine key trades, builders in 2016 saw the share of builders reporting either some or a serious shortage rise to 56 percent. This number hit a low in 2012 of 21 percent and then began increasing to 46 percent in 2014 and 52 percent in 2015.

Builders are experiencing the largest shortages with rough and finish carpenters as 23 percent of respondents said there was a ‘serious’ shortage of rough carpenters and 22 percent marked a ‘serious’ shortage of finish carpenters. Additionally, 49 percent of respondents said there was ‘some’ shortage of rough carpenters and 48 percent said they are experiencing ‘some’ shortage of finish carpenters.

Framing crews had the highest share of builders saying there was a serious shortage, at 27 percent. Bricklayers/masons, painters, electricians, and plumbers also had a high percentage of builders saying there was some or a serious shortage.

The most common effects of all of these shortages has been that builders have had to pay higher wages which, in turn, causes them to raise the prices of newly constructed homes.

For the full results of the survey, click the link below.

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