The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported on the impact the new Administration's stand on immigration could have on home building, which has been grappling with a persistent labor shortage since the housing recovery began.
Foreign-born workers account for nearly 30% of all those employed in construction trades, according to 2015 research from the National Association of Home Builders, and the share is even higher among occupations that are central to home building, such as roofers and drywall installers.
Labor shortages have already been a persistent problem for home builders throughout the housing recovery, as many older construction workers retired or migrated to other professions when the housing industry collapsed a decade ago. Others returned to Mexico and haven’t come back.
Those factors have combined to create a labor shortfall that experts say is holding back the overall pace of home construction. Eight years into the current economic expansion, single-family home construction remains 25% below the prior 30-year average. Adjusted for population, single-family home construction is barely back to troughs of recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s.