Labor shortages continue. Three out of four general contractors, remodelers and design-build firms reported moderate to severe labor shortages across a broad range of skilled trades. Finish carpenters are in shortest supply. General laborers are also difficult to hire.
Shortages are worst in the Midwest. The middle portion of the United States is experiencing the most severe labor shortages across most of the trades.
Down about 635,000 employees. Between January 2007 and January 2011, a period of crisis for the housing market, U.S. residential building and remodeling firms and specialty trade firms (such as plumbers and carpenters) together lost about 1.35 million employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These two sectors have gained back about 710,000 employees as of March 2017. But there are still 635,000 fewer workers than at the 2007 peak: 420,000 fewer workers in the specialty trades and 215,000 in residential building.
(Note that these numbers do not include people working in the field who don’t have an employee, for example, a plumber working solo.)
See the Full Q1 2017 Houzz Renovation Barometer here.