Labor shortage issues. Labor shortages are delaying projects, which in turn increases costs for consumers and businesses. (Photo: Shutterstock)

“Help Wanted.” It’s a common refrain these days among employers looking for skilled workers and laborers. Across the country, the U.S. unemployment rate is at a record low 3.8%. While this may be good news for those looking for work, it’s definitely creating problems as well. Employers can’t find the workers they need to fill job openings and in many cases, it’s impacting production or leading employers to open their doors to more risk — in the form of unskilled, poorly trained or unprepared new hires.

This labor shortage has affected a number of industries and trades. The lumber industry is no exception, and builders are feeling the pinch as they struggle to find workers. Housing projects are delayed, and prices are rising for consumers. Housing framers, for example, are particularly hard to come by. In a 2017 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, 77% of single-family builders reported seeing a shortage in housing framers, with 44% reporting a “serious shortage.”

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