Construction Workers ‘Left the Business and They Didn’t Come Back’ - Real Time Economics

Home builders are facing delays and rising costs as they struggle to find enough construction workers.

Thats partly a function of the housing boom and bust, which helped push industry-wide employment above 7.7 million in 2006, only to watch it come crashing down by nearly 2.3 million over the next five years. While builders are used to ups and downs, the most recent bust was extreme in magnitude and duration.

The difference this time is that a whole generation left the business and they didnt come back, said John Gillilan, operations manager at Bothell, Wash.-based Element Residential Inc. So theres a vacancy in the ranks at almost every company.

Thats bad news for build