The homebuilding industry is being slowed by a shortage of labor. Builders report they can sell more homes than they can build. The labor shortages are affecting builders as well as building material manufacturers and suppliers. This widespread labor shortage is slowing down the industry’s ability to not only get products but also install them, as reported in this article from a newspaper in Daytona Beach.
While unemployment rates have been decreasing in recent years, the number of people who have stopped looking for a job is still too high. In total, there are a lot of unemployed people that could help fill the need for labor.
Here are a few causes of the current labor issue and some possible solutions:
Contractors and suppliers are afraid to hire
because they still don’t have a lot of confidence in the strength of the economy. If the government and the media were to give them some confidence, it could help solve the labor issue.
Experienced labor is hard to find
and no one is doing anything about it. On the positive side, people are starting to question the value of college and are beginning to realize that there’s nothing wrong with learning a trade. Now, if our schools and the industry would just make it easier for the inexperienced to gain the experience they need.
Contractors are a big part of this problem.
They believe that if they take the time to train someone, that person will leave them soon after they are trained. The solution is for the contractor to stop being an asshole to work for.
What I mean is that when labor was more plentiful, the contractor could be his mean old nasty self. However, in the face of the current labor shortage, the contractor needs to switch his attitude and make working for him the best job in town. Being the best job in town doesn’t mean that you have to pay people more; you just need to make them feel valued and appreciated. You also need to learn how to hire the right people.
A good place to begin fixing the labor shortage is by following Zappos’ example, which you can do by reading this book.
The industry is going to need to fix this problem themselves because no one else is about to step up and fix it for them. It’s in the best of interest of the government and media to keep you afraid of the future, so it’s time for the industry to find its own confidence.
The industry also can’t wait for our education system to catch up; they need to take matters into their own hands today. I think that one trade, like roofers and roofing manufacturers, should step up and make our educational system irrelevant. They should take high school grads and turn them into qualified roofers who have a career and can earn a decent living. If one trade were to do this, other trades would follow.
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