Builders Plan to Hire, Concerned about Skill Level

Forty percent of single-family home builders report plans to hire or contract skilled laborers during the next year, according to a national survey conducted on behalf of the Washington, D.C.-based Home Builders Institute (HBI) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington.

Builders’ hiring plans support the growth expected in the housing market through 2012. Plans to hire vary by region, with 46 percent of builders in the Midwest and West expecting to hire, 39 percent in the South and 29 percent in the Northeast.

“The findings are another positive indicator for the recovery of the housing market and economy overall,” says John Courson, president and CEO of the Home Builders Institute. “Our focus continues to be training workers now for these future jobs to ensure that shortages don’t occur as home building accelerates.”

The training level of workers was found to be a worry for home builders, with 62 percent having concerns about workers they want to hire needing training before they are ready to begin their work.

“It is critical that workers are trained and job-ready for expected hires, which is reinforced by the survey finding that having a certification or skilled trades training is a deciding factor for more than 40 percent of builders,” Courson explains. “Workers would be wise to be up-to-date on the latest building skills requirements by connecting with trainings and certification opportunities in their area.”

The survey also found certain trades are in highest demand from builders because of skills shortages. Shortages of more than 20 percent were reported for trades, including painters, bricklayers/masons, finished carpenters, rough carpenters and framing crews directly employed by home building companies.

HBI provides training and certifications for skilled trades with its curricula based on National Construction Skills Standards developed with NAHB that are established by home builders from across the country.

These specific questions about labor availability were asked during the latest survey for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index of single-family home builders.