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Building Trade Lacks Help [AUDIO]

The housing market continues to show signs of a rebirth from its collapse, but the comeback may need to slow down a bit before there’s more trouble than progress.

construction
Flickr User rkimpeljr

Home builders have been struggling to keep up with demand due to a lack of workers. After the housing bust last decade, workers left the building trade for better opportunities. Now the need for building is here, but the help isn’t.

“We find that a lot of workers went to other industries; they retrained,” said Rose Quint with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Some of them went back to their original countries.”

Earlier this year, NAHB reported that close to half of its members have fallen behind on finishing projects due to a lack of workers. Almost one-tenth lost or canceled sales.

“There’s a lot of space there now for new employees,” Quint added.

Erasing the problem depends solely on the continued progress of the housing market. If sales continue to spike, prices can as well, meaning the building trade can go back to offering competitive wages.

It was announced this week that U.S. home prices were up 12.1 percent in April, representing the largest gain since February 2006.

“For the short and near future, it will be tough to find as many workers,” said Quint. “If home prices firm up at a reasonable pace, then I think the workers will come back.”

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