The lack of skilled labor in the residential construction and remodeling world keeps coming up again and again. It took on extreme urgency during the "Great Recession" when, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction employment fell by 1.5 million jobs between December 2007 and June 2009. Recovery moved very slowly in the decade after that, then took another nose dive during the COVID 19 pandemic. While parts of the economy and the supply chain are coming to a teetering semblance of stability (or at least not completely crashing), the building trades continue to struggle with enough skilled labor to keep up with demand.
What's to be done? And in the face of this ongoing deficit of skills, what will the future of homebuilding and remodeling look like?
We at JLC are intent on taking the pulse of the housing workforce in the hopes that shining a light on this especially persistent pain point will reveal a modicum of clarity. We view the first step in writing a "State of the Housing Workforce" report is to go to the source - you, the readers of JLC who hold strong opinions on and demonstrate fierce loyalty to the building trades. Please give us the generosity of your attention so that we can capture your ideas and perspectives on this vital topic.
Once we compile the results of this survey and are armed with a clearer perspective of the JLC community, we plan to dig deeper in our research, posing questions and suggestions to industry leaders and experts to further develop critical viewpoints and viable solutions.