In the News – Construction worker shortage weighs on hot U.S. housing market

In the News – Construction worker shortage weighs on hot U.S. housing market

The drumbeat of hammers echoes most mornings through suburban Denver, where Jay Small, the owner of company that frames houses, is building about 1,300 new homes this year.

That’s more than triple what he built a few years ago, when “you couldn’t buy a job” in the residential construction industry, he said.

Now, builders can’t buy enough workers to get the job done.

Eight years after the housing bust drove an estimated 30 percent of construction workers into new fields, homebuilders across the country are struggling to find workers at all levels of experience, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. The association estimates that there are approximately 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S. – a jump of 81 percent in the last two years.

The ratio of construction job openings to hiring, as measured by the Department of Labor, is at its highest level since 2007.

“The labor shortage is getting worse as demand is getting stronger,” said John Courson, chief executive of the Home Builders Institute, a national nonprofit that trains workers in the construction field.

The impact is two-fold. Without enough workers, residential construction is trailing demand for homes, dampening the overall economy.

And with labor costs rising, homebuilders are building more expensive homes to maintain their margins, which means they are abandoning the starter home market. That has left entry-level homes in tight supply, shutting out many would-be buyers at a time when mortgage rates are near historic lows.

Nationwide, there are 17 percent fewer people working in construction than at the market peak, with some states – including Arizona, California, Georgia and Missouri – seeing declines of 20 percent or more, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America.

The labor shortage is raising builders’ costs – and workers’ wages – and slowing down construction.

Small, the Denver builder, estimates that he could construct at least 10 percent more homes this year if he had enough workers. But he remains short-staffed, despite raising pay to levels above what he paid during the housing bubble a decade ago.

“It’s getting to the point where you’re really limited in what you can deliver,” Small said. “We lost so many people in the crash, and we’re just not getting them back.”


Check out the full artilce and video straight from the source,

In the News- Lowe’s Earnings are up 31.4%

In the News- Lowe’s Earnings are up 31.4%

In a quarter of strong home improvement demand, Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s reported net earnings of $884 million for the quarter ended April 29, a 31.4% increase over the same quarter lat year.

Sales for the quarter increased 7.8% to $15.2 billion. Comp-store sales increased 7.3% overall, and increased 7.5% for the U.S. business.

For more information see HBS Dealer


In the News- Builder Confidence Unchanged in April

In the News- Builder Confidence Unchanged in April

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained unchanged in April at a level of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

Builders remain cautiously optimistic about housing market growth. NAHB is forecasting faster single-family construction growth for 2016 than the 10% gain recorded in 2015. However, difficulties associated with access to labor and building lots are restraining growth in many local markets. Nonetheless, healthy levels of job creation, low mortgage interest rates and lack of existing home inventory will support increased construction of single-family homes. The residential construction sector will be a bright spot for an economy that slowed during the first quarter of 2016.

Check out the full article, NAHB

In the News – Ceramic Tile Consumption Up 9.9% in 2015

In the News – Ceramic Tile Consumption Up 9.9% in 2015

2015 was strong year growth for the U.S. ceramic tile market with consumption at 2.74 billion square feet, up 9.9% compared to 2014’s 2.49 billion square feet rate, according to the Tile Council of North America.

Supported by gains in the construction and housing markets, as well as low interest rates and falling unemployment, ceramic tile consumption increased for the sixth consecutive year.

In 2015, 1.88 billion square feet of ceramic tile arrived in the U.S., a 9.9% increase from 2014 (1.71 billion square feet). Imports accounted for 68.7% of U.S. tile consumption (in square feet), unchanged from the previous year. Last year, China regained the position as largest exporter (in square feet) to the U.S. after Mexico held the top place in 2014. China’s share of U.S. imports was 29.0%, followed by Mexico with a 27.0% share of imports, and Italy with an 18.5% share. Spain and Turkey rounded out the top five with a 7.2% and 4.6% share of imports, respectively.

U.S. ceramic tile exports in 2015 were 40.7 million square feet, up 10.1% compared to 2014. The vast majority of these exports (in square feet) were to Canada (57.1%) and Mexico (18.8%).

Get the updates straight from the source, Floor Daily

In the News – March Consumer Sentiment Rose from Preliminary Expectations

In the News – March Consumer Sentiment Rose from Preliminary Expectations

Consumer sentiment fell 0.8% in March to 91.0 from February’s 91.7 mark, according to the final results from the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers.

This represents a 2.2% decrease year over year.

“Consumer confidence inched upward in late March due to more favorable economic expectations, but the gain still left the Sentiment Index slightly below last month’s level,” said Survey of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin.

For more information, see Floor Daily

In the News – NTCA Presents the Trends for 2016

In the News – NTCA Presents the Trends for 2016

NTCA presented many exciting articles for this years trend forecast.

Here are some of the ones that Joe Lundgren thinks you should see.

Tile Trends of 2016 and Beyond by Joe Lundgren

Today’s Trends and Fashion Direction in Tile – Direct from the Designers by Lesley Goddin

Top Ten Colors for 2016 forecast by Scarlet Opus article by Lesley Goddin

Transcending Civilizations – Natural Stone in 2016 by Joshua Levinson, president, Artistic Tile and Jill Cohen, vice president of design, Artistic Tile

From Inspiration to Installation- Tile Design Unwrapped by Shelly Halbert, director of Product Design, Dal-Tile Corporation

Ceramics of Italy Comes to Chicago



Kermit Baker Weighs in on the Potential Economic Growth in the Housing & Commercial Building Sectors


Kermit Baker Weighs in on the Potential Economic Growth in the Housing & Commercial Building Sectors

Check out his audio feed on, YouTube: Kermit Baker Growth in the Housing & Commercial Building Sectors or grab it direct from – Kermit Baker : Growth in the Housing & Commercial Building Sectors