DENVER (KDVR) — It isn’t just Californians driving housing expenses in Colorado.
Part of the reason homes and rent have gotten so expensive in the last few decades concerns building patterns. Demand has outpaced supply as homebuilders scared by the mortgage-driven Great Recession built fewer homes than needed.
The amount of homes needed is unlikely to be built more quickly considering the construction industry’s labor shortages.
American construction firms are facing nearly universal shortages of qualified workers, according to a new survey by the Association of General Contractors.
According to the survey, 93% of firms have open positions. Among those firms, 91% are having trouble filling them.
Colorado has an even tougher time. In the Centennial State, 96% of craft firms say they have open positions, 93% of whom are having a tough time filling them.
Most companies have raised base pay in order to attract good employees, but that doesn’t seem to be bringing the desired people onboard.
Firms said the shortage comes from several factors, but the largest is simply that so many applicants are unqualified. More than three-quarters said applicants don’t have the necessary training to work on a job site or that they can’t pass a drug test.
Worker shortages are colliding with leftover supply chain issues from the COVID pandemic and with general inflation.
Most – 82% – of construction firms said they’ve had to delay projects because of supply chain issues. Another two-thirds said they had to delay jobs because they didn’t have enough workers. In Colorado, 82% said they’ve delayed projects due to worker shortages.
The rising costs of construction materials like concrete and steel have increased building costs all around. Seventy percent of construction firms said they have passed inflation costs onto customers.