Photo by Robert Kneschke

The skilled labor shortage remains a top issue in the construction industry. Recent research from the Home Builders Institute (HBI) suggests the industry will need to attract 2.2 million more workers to keep pace with demand through 2024, a pace of approximately 740,000 new workers in the sector per year. According to the HBI, the “severe shortage” of construction workers continues to weaken both housing supply and housing affordability.

A recent study conducted by the Building Talent Foundation (BTF) illustrated the importance of employee engagement in retention, an important area for combating the ongoing labor shortage. Due to the study’s findings, the BTF is developing several initiatives, including providing greater access to training resources and career exploration, facilitating best practice sharing and peer-to-peer learning, and offering career coaching to employees, to help employers improve employee engagement.

The NAHB recently updated its resources to help improve another important element of combating the skilled labor shortage: recruitment. The association has three new videos—highlighting drywall installation, welding, and building systems—that home builders associations, builders, and trade contractors can use to illustrate the benefits and rewards offered by careers in the home building sector. The NAHB also updated its existing videos highlighting carpentry, electrical, painting, masonry, HVAC, and plumbing careers.

According to the NAHB, many residential construction jobs pay the equivalent amount as jobs requiring similar experience levels and a college degree. Residential electricians can earn an average salary starting around $61,000 without a college degree or any associated student loan debt.

The NAHB says the videos play an important role in “get[ting] the word out” about the opportunities available for skilled trades professionals in the home building industry. While the overall economy is entering an easing period, the NAHB says new housing demand is projected to remain strong, making the recruitment of new workers into the skilled trades as important as ever.

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