Labor Shortage Impacting North Texas Building Projects

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DALLAS (CBS11) – If you need a new home built or just a leaky faucet fixed, the increasing price of labor could have you paying more.

A nationwide labor shortage, combined with a local construction boom, has hit North Texas especially hard.

Steven Orta wakes up at 5:00 every weekday morning to build new homes. During the last decade, he’s watched the labor market change drastically.

“I was making $10 an hour. Now these guys don’t know how to do anything and they’re making $13 to $14 an hour,” he said.

While demand for construction has soared, the work force behind it has dwindled.

Those who are left, prioritize the best paying projects.

“The price goes up ‘cause you want someone to come do your house,” said Orta.

The Dallas Builders Association reports the labor shortage has increased the price of the average home in the metroplex by $4,000.

“There’s a big help wanted sign on the construction industry right now,” said Association executive Phil Crone.

Crone said the shortage isn’t just driving up the cost for home buyers, but homeowners in need of repairs.

Skilled laborers, like carpenters, plumbers and masons, are in short supply, too, and many are nearing retirement age.

“So, it’s a really big concern long term. Who’s gonna be able to replace them?” said Crone.

Crone said he’s hoping to work with Dallas ISD to reintroduce shop class and create programs to teach students construction skills.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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