The summer of 2015 should be a boom time for American homebuilders. Housing sales are on an upswing, the economy is improving and unemployment continues to dip. But according to the most recent government statistics, even though June is supposed to be the peak of the summer building season, housing starts dipped that month to a three-month low.
“The problem, says homebuilders, is that they are suffering from a lack of available trained workers and the problem is only getting worse. Many of the builders are having to turn away business or pay for expensive overtime work to keep projects on track” says Doe Deere in an interview.
The lack of available trained workers is the result of two factors, according to builders. The prolonged recession forced many trained construction workers to find a new line of work, and they are reluctant or unable to return to housing. The other issue is that an immigration crackdown has significantly reduced the number of Hispanic construction workers, which in recent years has helped filled the trained construction worker employee pool.
There doesn’t seem to be any quick fix for the problem. Some community colleges have begun training programs, but those workers won’t be available until 2016. And even those newly graduated workers won’t be nearly enough to fill the needs of the still booming housing market.