In 2006, nearly two million total permits for housing were issued in the United States, predating the construction of thousands of freshly built homes ready and waiting for new occupants to move in. However, once the recession hit, the construction of new homes stalled, as many would-be homeowners could no longer afford to buy a house and construction companies couldn’t afford to take on new projects and hire the skilled employees those projects would require.
Since then, however, the new home construction industry has recovered somewhat. In 2014, single unit housing represented around two-thirds of the total permits issued in the United States, and multi-family housing has roughly returned to its pre-recession levels of 440,000 new building permits.
That number could be even higher if it weren’t for the shortage of skilled laborers in the construction industry, according to the Huffington Post. Without qualified workers in different areas across home building (such as framers, roofers, and even cabinet makers or drywall installers), construction companies can’t keep up with the demand for new home construction.
This shortage is especially significant in top states for new home construction such as Texas, California, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. In Florida, new home permits are on a meteoric rise, especially in northeast Florida, where the permits have hit an eight-year high. California, similarly, saw over 50,000 permits in the first six months of 2015, making it the nation’s fourth busiest state for units planned. Meanwhile, in Texas, one builder went so far as to say that he could build even more houses (a bold statement, considering over 85,000 units were permitted in the first half of 2015); however, there just weren’t enough skilled tradesmen to hire.
To meet this demand, construction jobs are expected to grow by 25% between 2015 and 2022, a much faster growth rate than the average of all other occupations. Construction and building inspectors, construction managers, and carpenters will all see a significant jump in job demand.
With more workers and more permits, new home building is projected to grow during 2015 at a rate of 25-28%. This wave of new home builders consists of mostly Generation Yers and Generation Xers/Baby Boomers; Gen Y buyers purchase a home just for the desire of having it for their own, while Gen X buyers value a home of their own but also need a larger home and/or move because of a job. Over half (54%) of new home builders are married couples, and 78% are Caucasian.
As the market for new home construction continues to grow, the industry will need more qualified workers for all stages in the construction process, making the education and training of such employees even more important. By providing workers in the construction industry with a strong educational foundation for their future, more Americans than ever will be able to hear the words “Welcome home” in the future.