“The residential construction industry has a big help wanted sign on it right now. We're missing anywhere between 25,000 and 35,000 workers.” – Phil Crone, Greater Dallas Builders Association.
Many Texas construction companies are concerned because they can't find people to build the homes that are needed to house the workers that oil and gas companies are desperate to hire.
Highlands Classic Homes is one company having a hard time trying to find people to fit construction job openings.
“There have been labor issues, labor swings and stuff like that,” said spokesman Mark Dann. “This one feels a little different,” he told local TV station FOX 4.
“I had a builder friend that walked into a house one day and thought the workers were at lunch because they left their tools,” said Dann. “… Someone else had come by and offered them a lot more money. They just got up and walked out. Forgot their tools.”
Skilled laborers are so scarce in Texas that some builders are pushing the pay scale to get workers.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Senior Business Economist Jesus Canas said wages are growing in Texas faster than the rest of the nation.
“Employment is at its lowest level ever. We have a great demand for workers,” he said. “Unfortunately, our business contacts are saying they're having difficulty finding qualified workers for the jobs they need to fill.”
The lack of housing makes a difficult hiring landscape even more difficult for oil and gas companies facing a similar worker shortage. With not enough truckers, many delivery times go up. Supplies become backlogged.
“The residential construction industry has a big help wanted sign on it right now,” said Phil Crone with the Greater Dallas Builders Association. “We're missing anywhere between 25,000 and 35,000 workers.”
The shortage could ultimately hurt a big part of what makes North Texas attractive.
“That’s the irony of it all is that all these jobs are coming here and the home is where these jobs sleep at night,” Crone told FOX 4. “But we don’t have enough in our industry to meet the demand, which is gonna cause housing to be more expensive and is a symptom of a lot of the things that we've benefited from here in the region.”
The Texas economy might see some slowing, but it is expected to end the year with double the growth of the rest of the USA.