A smiling, senior worker with a helmet on his head, leans on the railing in the factory and takes a break from work in heavy industry. A senior worker in a factory.

The effect of Skilled Labor Shortages

May 12, 2022

A smiling, senior worker with a helmet on his head, leans on the railing in the factory and takes a break from work in heavy industry. A senior worker in a factory.

One colossal issue not talked about enough in high schools is the importance of the availability of a skilled workforce. According to the article ‘Workforce Development’ published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the increase in demand and cost for skilled workers trickles down to increased home prices and causes delays in completing projects due to the change in availability of these workers. This demand has created a large market for the workforce; the average roofer in Georgia made $47,110 in 2021, and Carpenters made $48,260, according to onetonline.org. This demand for more workers has created an opportunity to potentially enter the workforce directly after certification/schooling and potentially make over the average income in the United States, which is $31,133.

 It means that because the workforce is in higher demand, it costs more, but not only that, it causes the overall project to cost more. Contractors who struggle to find skilled workers are likely to turn down projects for which they don’t have the workers or put in higher bids on projects because they know they can. Then because the demand is high, it is also harder to schedule the workforce, which can lead to delays in the completion of the projects. This is dangerous to the housing market as it drives the prices of homes up and slows the production of new homes down.  

This is significant to the Housing Market as the cost of materials is also rising, with their availability changing constantly. According to NAHB, “the no. 2 problem builders faced in 2020 was the availability/time it takes to obtain building materials.” The shortage of skilled workers has a significant impact on construction costs and adds to the delays, which impact the value of homes and the cost of new homes. 

The NAHB is working to help direct the industry’s labor shortage by providing opportunities such as the prestigious NAHB Student Competition, which allows students to demonstrate their abilities to potential employers. Not only this, but the NAHB has taken part in lobbying to make training programs cost-effective. Here at BBH/BHHS, we support the Columbia County Foundation for Children, which provides College Scholarships and Technical/Vocational Scholarships. This foundation helps care for the community and offers opportunities to high students to apply for the scholarship, which is not awarded based on academic ability but on financial necessity. This allows for the opportunity for individuals to seek help in advancing their technical skills and enter the workforce as skilled labor, which provides for the growth of the construction industry.

Many high school students are more likely to seek a college education instead of instruction in skilled trades. There are many opportunities in the Home Building Industry to make an above-average wage that has room for growth and opportunities; because of the high demand for skilled workers.