The ‘vicious circle’ has deepened a persistent worker shortage during a period of record demand. Part seven of our labour series, Pay Check
There’s a labour shortage in the construction industry, but it’s not for lack of people wanting to work. The number of new workers may even have increased over the past few years, thanks in part to COVID. While other industries like hospitality suffered during the pandemic, construction was an essential service; it slowed for a moment to implement health safety guidelines and then kept on building.
Even so, companies across the South Island say new job postings are now staying active indefinitely, and where a builder used to receive six resumes a week, now they might see two or three in a month. Contractors bid outrageously high sums for small jobs because they just don’t have the capacity.
Langford-based builder Verity Construction’s CEO has been supplementing existing crews with out-of-town workers.
The problem is there’s nowhere for them to live.
“There’s just no availability, whether to rent or buy. Affordability is a factor too, but availability is the biggest factor,” CEO Chad Bryden said. There just aren’t available homes for rent or purchase, no matter the price.