- According to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey in the third quarter of 2015, 80% of remodelers reported seeing the most significant shortage in finish carpenters, 8% higher than last year, reported the NAHB. The survey also showed found 41% of respondents described the shortage as serious.
- Of the 12 categories of labor on the survey, 78% of remodelers said that rough carpenters were the next hardest-to-find trade, with 70% reporting a shortage of framing crews. In June, new-home builders reported shortages of the same three labor categories.
- The RMI survey also asked about the availability of subcontractors, and the results showed a higher level of shortages, indicating that laid-off construction workers might have formed their own construction businesses during the downturn but are now back to work as employees. This would add to the number of direct employees but tighten up the supply of subcontractors.
The third quarter of 2015 is the third time NAHB has surveyed remodelers about labor shortages. Between 2013 and 2014, the share of remodelers reporting a shortage grew in all 12 trades, and, in 2015, the shortages increased even more in every trade except masonry, which has remained fairly unchanged.
The shortages that remodelers have experienced are a reflection of wider industry shortages of skilled labor. Top homebuilders PulteGroup, Inc., MDC Holdings, Inc., and Meritage Homes Corp., all reported fewer home deliveries last quarter, partly due to the lack of skilled labor.
The residential construction sector saw the addition of 6,000 jobs in October, but experts said it was most likely a result of successful recruiting efforts. They caution that shortages from an aging workforce and fewer young people choosing a career in construction are still a continuing threat to the industry.