As supply chains improve, the construction industry is still seeing challenges. In some areas, labor issues are raising costs to build and extending the time to complete projects.
The industry has long been concerned about the shortages of skilled trade workers
. The results of this shortage could be higher construction costs (higher wages tend to be sticky too), longer waits for construction, and lower quality work.
Long-term solutions would include recruitment to trade schools to train more skilled workers and immigration reform to bring in more skilled workers. Without improvements in these areas, housing affordability will be a challenge as no amount of improvement in supply chains will help without addressing the labor shortage.
But what to do in the near term? Considering these challenges, opportunities exist in developing products, tools, and processes that would enable the work to get done with either fewer skilled workers, more middle-skilled workers, or with fewer workers at all. Examples could include greater use of prefabricated components, more automation in construction (e.g., scanners for roofs, pipes, electrical components, and HVAC that can tell workers what is wrong so they can more easily repair/replace parts), or more forgiving installation via easier to use power tools.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research from our Construction and Building Products Group
. Freedonia Custom Research
is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.