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, according to www.nbcdfw.com.
"I was astounded that we had that amount of shortage," says 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."
There is a strong demand for construction workers in North Texas, and homebuilders especially are having difficulty finding enough workers to complete projects.
"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," says Michael Turner, owner of Classic Urban Homes.
In addition to time, the workforce shortage is increasing costs.
"The labor shortage is adding about two months and about $5,000 to the cost of every single job that gets done," Crone says. "The jobs will get done, they're just going to cost more and take longer, and of course, that's going to mean we're not going to meet the demand as quickly as we otherwise would."
Home Depot recently announced it is donating $50 million to train 20,000 new construction workers throughout the U.S. during the next 10 years.
"That's vital, not only in our region but across the country," Crone says. "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."
Recruiting young workers is crucial but will take time. It is important they are aware of the opportunities available.
"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," Turner says.