Are ‘missing’ construction workers re-appearing?


In surveys, builders keep flagging one major concern: they can’t find enough labor to keep up with their workflow.

Yet construction hiring was one of the brightest spots in a stellar November jobs report, with 46,000 jobs added. Residential construction hiring has averaged 10,400 in 2015, down a bit from 13,525 per month in 2014, but still strong.
“Actions we’ve been taking to attract labor are starting to pay off,” said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.
Builders are stepping up outreach to all kinds of nontraditional groups, like veterans, Crowe said. They’re partnering with community colleges and local unions to develop training programs. And yes, they’re also starting to raise wages, though that’s on a piecemeal, local basis.

Still, Crowe said he’s “been making it clear” to builders and local builder associations that the relative wage premium that construction workers enjoyed before the housing bust has fallen. He said his efforts have been met with “reluctant acknowledgment” but also some concern about passing on wage increases to bargain-hunting homebuyers.

The NAHB has taken some heat for what many analysts consider grandstanding about the difficulty of finding workers. Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center who’s studied the issue, called himself “pretty skeptical of claims of a skill or worker shortage in construction because I don’t see rapid growth in wages in this sector.”

If builders are starting to come around to the reality of paying up to attract workers, that should start to show up in the Labor Department data within a few months, Price said.

Price’s calculations show that from April 2006 to January 2011, the peak and trough of the most recent cycle, residential construction shed 1.5 million jobs, or 42.4% of the industry.

The question of where those “missing builders” went has taken on a life of its own. The Wall Street Journal has followed the question closely, and researchers at the Census Bureau also investigated.

Their research found that 60% of displaced construction workers left the labor market altogether or moved into other industries.

Price thinks those industries are most likely lower-wage sectors like hospitality and retail, areas which even during the early, anemic part of the recovery, were “growing and offering more certainty than construction was.”

He thinks certainty, even more than higher wages, may be the issue that’s holding up more robust hiring of construction workers, especially as the job market keeps heating up. “Workers are probably asking, how much work do you have? How long are you going to have work? Even if you’re offering slightly higher wages, I think I’d be asking how much promise do you have that I’m going to have this work once this project is over. “

Recent News

Versatile Carmix takes concrete to North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania
    The gold mine in North Mara is situated in the north-west of Tanzania, at about 100 kilometres east of Lake Victoria and 20 kilometres south of the border with Kenya. The gold mine works an average of 8,000 tonnes of minerals a day and produced 287,188 ounces of gold in 2015. The gold
Workers’ Memorial Day, observed each year on April 28, honors workers killed, injured, or made ill at work. Since 1992, BLS has collected data on both nonfatal work injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, and fatal work injuries. In 2015, the occupations with the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses
The undercarriage of a machine represents a significant portion of a piece of equipment’s purchase price. Proper maintenance and operation practices are critical for protecting your equipment investment. Undercarriage maintenance is critical to the overall productivity of a machine. It is the mechanism that gives tracked machines much of their power and stability. It also
Deere Adds 8-Year / 20K Hour Warranty on 944K Electric-Drive Components
John Deere is now offering a 96-month / 20,000-hour power electronic components warranty on the Deere 944K hybrid wheel loader. The warranty is retroactive to existing machines in the field and provided on new 944K loaders through October 31, 2018. The warranty includes a 96-month (eight-year) or 20,000-hour (whichever comes first) non-prorated assurance on wheel
  Vermeer’s Silver Series drill rod is composed of S135 common grade steel and is threaded in the same facility as the company’s Firestick drill rod with the same column wall thickness. The Silver Series drill rod is available in four sizes: 1.66-inch, 1.9-inch, 2.06-inch, and 2.375-inch, for use on the D7x11 through the D24x40
CHILE: Construcción regional cae 7,5% y suma dos meses con cifras en rojo
Datos de Cámara Chilena de la Construcción estimaron retroceso de 7,5% en febrero que se suma al -10% de enero. Se busca consolidar esfuerzos público-privados para enmendar el rumbo. Por primera vez desde el año 2002, cuando se comenzó a publicar el Índice de Actividad de la Construcción Regional (INACOR), la Región de Coquimbo inicia

About Us

In Tractopart we supply quality construction Parts and Heavy Equipment Parts with excellent discount rate for New , Used Rebuilt & Surplus parts for excavators, Wheel loader dozers, and undercarriage for all heavy equipment brands, we are locate in Miami, Fl

Contact Info


At Tractopart we focus on providing high quality parts at a great price. Our parts are subjected to rigorous inspection procedures that allow us to ensure product quality.

Phone: 786.219.1010
Main Office: 3505 South Ocean Drive #204
Hollywood, FL 33019