US markets grappling with labour shortages for construction projects include Denver, CO, most Texas markets, Minneapolis and Oklahoma, which like Denver, are losing many workers to the oil and gas fields, according to the Wall Street Journal May 1. Builders in South Florida and Charlotte, NC, are having difficulty staffing their construction jobs, too.
Construction Employee Shortage
Home builders in the Denver area constructed 6,700 homes last year, up from a nadir of 3,200 in 2009, according to the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver. Still, that’s below the peak of 20,000 permits in 2005.
Few areas have been hit as hard by the labor shortages as Denver, where the median price of a new home registered US$373,605 last year, up 22 per cent from the 2011 median, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. in Irvine, CA. Nationally, the median new-home price was US$268,900 last year, up 18.4 per cent from 2011, according to the US Census Bureau.
Nationally, wages for construction workers are rising at nearly three times the rate for all workers, increasing by 6.3 per cent in February from a year earlier, according to the US Department of Labor. In comparison, the increase across all industries averaged 2.2 per cent in that span.