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Finding Workers Is Getting Harder for Busy U.S. Homebuilders

Jan. 15, 2021, 9:00 AM

As industries go, residential construction in America has largely weathered the pandemic thanks to steady demand and low interest rates. Worksites nationwide are humming with good, paying jobs at a time when 1 in 8 workers are receiving unemployment checks. So why on earth are some construction firms complaining of a labor shortage?

U.S. construction is sprawling, employing roughly 5% of the nation’s workforce (7.3 million employees) at some 680,000 firms, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The industry is essentially its own economy, building hundreds of billions of dollars worth of structures each month. It’s true that ...