WASHINGTON, DC —The softening of the U.S. housing market might mean that short-term demand for labor will slacken, the current “crisis-level shortage” of skilled workers will remain a major challenge after the economy recovers, according to a new report by the Home Builders Institute, a nonprofit provider of trade skills training and education for the building industry.
The reason for the impending labor shortage, the HBI said, “is because for many decades our country has not encouraged enough young people and others to consider careers in construction.”
According to the Fall 2022 HBI Construction Labor Market Report, the combination of increased mortgage interest rates, higher construction costs and inflationary trends have placed housing affordability at a more than 10-year low. But despite the current housing slowdown, the U.S. construction industry will need an additional 2.2 million net hires from 2022 to 2024, the Washington, DC-based HBI noted.
“Now is the time for the residential construction industry to invest in more skilled worker training,” Ed Brady, HBI chief officer, said in remarks to a group of home building and workforce development leaders at an industry roundtable here.
“Boosting skills training now will help the housing industry to be better prepared for both the coming months and the years to come,” Brady said. “For construction to expand further, more workers must be recruited and trained for the construction sector. Put simply, a housing downturn won’t solve the nation’s crisis level shortage of skilled workers for home building.”