Remodelers Report a Shortage of Electricians for Projects

In the third quarter of 2018, 58 percent of remodelers reported a shortage of electricians as part of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey.

Of the 16 specific occupations the RMI survey included, electricians fell in the middle of the pack with 37 percent of remodelers reporting “some shortage” and 21 percent reporting “a serious shortage.” The highest positions were taken by carpentry related occupations with 84 percent of remodelers reporting a shortage in finish carpenters, 85 percent for rough carpenters and 81 percent for framing crews. The lowest percentage was held by building maintenance managers at 37 percent. More than half of remodelers reported shortages for 12 of the 16 categories.

The NAHB has included questions about the labor shortage in their survey since 2013 and has consistent data since that time for a handful of occupations, including electricians. According to the NAHB, for these trades, shortages peaked in 2017 and then declined slightly in 2018. For some professions, these dips have been more significant than others. Roofers, for example, saw an 8 percent drop in reported labor shortage in 2018 compared with 2017. Electricians have not fared so well with only a small deep of 1 percent from the year before.

Even with these small dips in 2018, overall remodelers are reporting markedly higher labor than in previous years. When compared with 2016, all of the trades had with differences ranging from 4 to 18 points higher.

Remodelers reported that labor shortages have resulted in higher wages and subcontractor bids, higher prices for customers, difficult completing projects on time and having to turn down projects, among other effects.

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