Construction Labor Shortage Nearly Doubles in North Texas

Construction workers are in high demand across North Texas, and homebuilders in particular are struggling to find enough to get the job done.

“Right now, I’ve got a tile crew here, a tile crew of two men, normally it would be about six guys so build times have definitely increased,” said Michael Turner, the owner of Classic Urban Homes, who is building a new home in North Dallas.

A new survey conducted by Meyers Research for the Dallas Builders Association predicts the construction labor shortage in North Texas in 2018 will reach 37,819 jobs, up from 20,235 in 2017.

“I was astounded that we had that amount of shortage,” said Phil Crone, Executive Officer of the Dallas Builders Association. “It’s just a product of being at full employment, the homes being where the jobs sleep at night, and we just don’t have enough people to get the job done.”

“The labor shortage is adding about two months and about $5,000 to the cost of every single job that gets done,” said Crone. “The jobs will get done, they’re just going to cost more and take longer, and of course, that’s going to mean that we’re not going to meet the demand as quickly as we otherwise would.”

Across the country, Home Depot is now helping to close the gap, donating $5 million to train 20,000 new construction workers over the next decade.

“That’s vital, not only in our region but across the country,” said Crone. “We’re just thrilled when we heard about Home Depot making that investment in our workforce because that will enable the type of programs that will shore up that labor shortage for us.”

North Texas homebuilders welcome the extra help.

“There’s kids graduating every year so if we tell these kids now that this is an opportunity and a possibility for them, within three to five years those guys are on the job site,” said Turner.

But it will take time.

The Dallas Builders Association expects another large labor shortage in 2019.

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