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Is the Construction Labor Shortage Over?

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Promising New Data About Growth in the Construction Industry Labor Market

Over the past several years there’s been regular news about a labor shortage in the construction industry. However, new reports suggest that the industry is poised for growth. What sort of growth is expected, what does it mean for your future home builds and how should you prepare? We’re here to answer those questions.

How much will the construction industry grow in 2016 and beyond?

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction sector is expected to add 790,400 jobs between 2014 and 2024, which equates to 1.2% compounded annual growth over the same period. For the sake of comparison, only one other sector (the health and social assistance industry) is expected to see a higher rate of growth.

While this is great news, it’s important to remember that the changes won’t happen immediately.

Estimated growth won’t replace all lost construction jobs

If you’re a builder you’ve likely experienced the negative side effects of economic downturn and a shortage of skilled laborers over the past decade. Unfortunately, the anticipated growth in construction industry employment won’t bring the sector back to pre-2004 levels. 837,800 construction jobs were lost between 2004 and 2014.

Why were so many construction jobs lost?

The current skilled labor shortage was caused by a variety of factors. One of the main instigators is an older workforce; each year more and more skilled laborers retire. Unfortunately, they aren’t being replaced with younger workers quite as quickly. Compounding the issue even further, employees left the construction industry in droves when the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008. To make matters worse, younger workers have been told that success can only be achieved with a college degree. This mindset has led many younger members of the country’s labor force to avoid careers in the skilled trades.

What construction sector growth means for your home building business

To put it simply, labor growth is great news for your home building business. You won’t see overnight results or immediate changes, but it should become incrementally easier to hire and successfully employ subcontractors and other laborers. These areas are estimated to experience the most growth between 2014 and 2024:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers (24.3%)
  • Iron/rebar workers (23.4%)
  • Insulation workers (19.4%)
  • Brickmasons and blockmasons (17.9%)
  • Electricians (13.7%)
  • Earth drillers (13.6%)

If you’ve been focusing on sustainable builds and energy-saving features in your new construction you’ll be particularly thrilled with the uptick in PV installers. However, regardless of what features you include in your builds, one thing is clear: this growth in labor is welcome news.

Now that the construction industry is experiencing growth, you’ll be busier than ever. Structural Home Warranty coverage protects builders like you from unforeseen structural issues in their builds. Visit 2-10.com to find out more!