US Construction Employment

A survey of single-family builders conducted by the National Association of Home Builders in June 2015 shows that shortages of labour and subcontractors—already quite widespread in mid-2014—have become even more widespread during the past year.

The shortages are most acute for basic skills like carpentry, which are needed during the construction of any home. For example, in the 2015 survey 69 per cent of builders reported a shortage (either serious or some) of construction workers willing and able to do rough carpentry.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.13.14 PM

Builders, however, may be even more concerned about the availability of subcontractors than of workers to employ directly. In building a single-family home, three-quarters of the construction work is typically done by subcontractors (documented in a 2012 NAHB survey).

The 9 consistently covered trades are carpenters-rough, carpenters-finished, electricians, excavators, framing crews, roofers, plumbers, bricklayers/masons and painters.