Skilled worker shortage causing construction firms to adjust
September 27, 2012
Wages are one of the main roadblocks for out-of-work construction workers throughout the United States. The cost of materials and supplies for construction firms is making it hard to raise wages much higher than their current levels, roughly $8 an hour, according to an article for CNBC. However, the demand for new home construction has been growing in recent months.
"This industry has had a tough time in the last five years, and lot of people have left it and I guess gone into other things," Don Dykstra, president of home building company Bloomfield Homes, told the news source. "We need (them) back."
Builders finding it hard to pay skilled workers
While the demand for new home construction in some regions of the U.S. has recently increased, overhead costs for housing projects are also rising, making it difficult to pay experienced construction workers for the duration of the projects.
Stephen Brooks, CEO of Grand Homes, told the news source that the lack of skilled workers is making projects even longer. Many believe the construction employees who used to be readily available in the past have moved on to new jobs with more consistent pay.
"We lost over half of our production builder companies, and the subcontractors were enormously gutted as well," Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies told the news source. "It's not like these guys are waiting by the phone. It's been six years. These guys have moved on and found other jobs."
Has technology changed the profession?
Construction firms and home builders need to understand that the workers simply aren't there anymore, so the companies have to turn to new ways to make sure projects get done efficiently and effectively. By using construction software, firms will get a better idea of the finances they have to work with to build the homes that are becoming so important in today's housing market.
"I'm thinking these folks need to rescrew on their heads on what it will take to grow their businesses, like maybe invest some resources to bring new folks on board and work with them to make sure they have those skills they want long term," one blogger wrote to CNBC.