Where Are the Construction Workers?

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A construction professional says a whole generation left the industry “and they didn’t come back”

October 13, 2015

Photo: Wikijazz/Wikimedia Commons

It’s no news that builders across the nation are having difficulty finding labor, with experts attributing many things, including an immigration downturn and lack of women in the industry, as a cause for this shortage.

Reporters at the Wall Street Journal Jeffrey Sparshot and Kris Hudson talk with several construction industry professionals to hear their take on the lack of skilled labor. “While builders are used to ups and downs, the most recent bust was extreme in magnitude and duration,” the article says.

“The difference this time is that a whole generation left the business and they didn’t come back,” John Gillilan, operations manager at Bothell, Wash.-based Element Residential Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. “So there’s a vacancy in the ranks at almost every company.”

Labor shortages are slowing down the recovery, as builders “can’t grow as fast as they would like amid increasing delays and rising costs.”

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