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Industry Trends6 min

Where the Construction Labor Shortage Is Most Severe

According to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4 million people now work in residential construction (both single-family and multifamily) – down from the 5 million who were employed just before the Great Recession. Although the workforce has shrunk by 20 percent nationwide, some parts of the country are experiencing less pain than others. Similarly, light commercial construction has been reportedly back on the rise post-Recession, with IBISWorld reporting that the recovery started just before 2014 and continuing steadily through 2019 (source). 

As builders report that cost and availability of skilled labor is their top challenge, smart hiring and retention practices can help reduce that burden. In a recent blog post titled “Staffing Up: How Contractors Can Cope With the Labor Shortage,” LP shared a list of seven ways to attract younger job candidates to the construction industry. Couple that information with “Staffing Up: Tips to Retain Your Employees” for ways to keep skilled employees on staff.

The Impact of Second/Vacation Homes on Residential Construction Labor

California, our most populous state, has the most residential construction workers. According to a study by the NAHB, nearly 600,000 Californians work in residential construction, representing over 3 percent of the state’s labor force. Florida ranks second, mainly due to its large stock of vacation and seasonal homes.

Some Mountain states likewise benefit from a large number of vacation homes. For example, Idaho (with a population of just 1.75 million) nevertheless has a lot of residential construction workers – 4.6 percent of the state’s labor force. Mississippi, which is nearly twice as populous as Idaho but has far fewer vacation homes, has one of the nation’s lowest number of residential construction workers. The worker shortage is most severe in northern New Mexico and rural portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 

“It’s hard to find qualified construction workers in our part of Louisiana – like those who know how to install engineered wood siding,” says Chad Futch, owner of KEH Builders in Pineville, Louisiana and a LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding user. “It’s also very difficult to retain qualified people because they come and go so fast.” 

As seasoned workers retire and get replaced by less experienced ones, builders are increasingly choosing building products like engineered wood siding that are designed for easier installation. And there are now wall assemblies that are much lighter and easier to install than traditional assemblies using shaft wall liner. LP supports its users in building efficiency through various educational avenues, including onsite trainings and virtual guides. For example, the LP® FlameBlock® videos illustrate how to install the fire-rated sheathing in a variety of code-approved assemblies for fire resistance.

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Business Advice4 min

Predictions for 2020 from LP Execs

The homebuilding industry is always changing, thanks to housing trends, shifts in buyer preferences, new technologies and even finance options. We recently sat down with Brad Southern, CEO of LP Building Solutions, and Mike Sims, LP’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss the latest industry developments.

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Industry Trends3 min
Why Key Strategies for Reducing Labor Time May Be Backfiring

Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.

Business Advice4 min
Why Remodelers Should Switch to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding

Are you considering switching to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding? Many remodelers and installers are anxious about switching to a new product—even when they know, in their gut, that it’s the right move. If you’re worried about change, here are four questions to ask yourself: What are the advantages of the product? How quickly can I get my team trained? How will the change benefit my company and reputation? What is the availability of the products?

Outdoor Living3 min
Shed Builder Spotlight: Lapp Structures

Since its start in 1987, Lapp Structures has transitioned from producing standard sheds to making aspirational builds a core element of its business. Coining the term DreamSpaces™, Lapp Structures helps customers create unique shed builds where they can explore their hobbies without sacrificing the comfort of home. Due to its unmatched consistency, proprietary technology and extreme durability, Lapp Structures names LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® a key component to its success.