Home builders lacking labor, and concerned about high material prices
POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 7:57am
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 3:55pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — CNN Money is reporting that home building is one the rise. But, some markets around the country are seeing a decline in construction workers to get the job done. The housing market is starting to climb, more homes are being built; but builders are having trouble finding someone to pick up the hammer.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows a huge decline in skilled construction workers.
Brent Conaway, partner at Conaway Homes in Tyler says, “We've got a whole new set of challenges coming our way."
Conaway says their sales are up more than 35% so far this year from last. But, they are starting to see a decline in workers, he says, "We're defiantly feeling our shortage of contract labor."
But he says not as bad as our neighbors in Dallas and Houston, Conaway says, "I've heard builders talk about a lack of framers, they just can't find framers."
Conaway says the real issue locally isn't necessarily the lack of labor it's the lack of lumber,"Materials are going up, we're starting to see a whole new set of challenges."
James Drennan, district manager at Cassidy Jones Lumber in Tyler says the demand for materials is high and sales are up. Drennan says, "We've had an increase in our business of roughly 10%"
Builders say on average sheet rock has increased the most. Lumber has increased slightly. Drennan says the building business is booming, Which is good for the economy. and he says material prices are just catching up to pre-recession days.
Drennan says, "Over the past 12 to 18 months we've had more positive activity in the building industry, and because of that, there's been more demand, for that product, and that's increased to price level's currently to what they were roughly 5-6 years ago."
Reports also confirm that another big reason for the construction worker shortage is the "Tech" era.
Younger generations are choosing careers in technology and not in hard labor.
Questions about this story or report? Email Nicole Vowell at Nvowell@ketknbc.com