Michigan’s homebuilders suffered a one-two punch in the lastest downturn, feeling the effects of a collapse in the auto industry as well as the real estate market. But now the state’s economy is on track for a 37% increase in building permits this year, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. But there’s a cloud in the forecast: It’s hard to find help, the paper reports (“Builders now hurting for skilled workers,” by JC Reindl).
“An estimated 60,000 carpenters, remodelers and other skilled tradesmen and women in the state’s residential construction sector were put out of work when the real estate market collapsed and construction stalled,” the paper reports. “Many of these laborers are believed to have left the state in search of work or quit the building trades.”
“There is labor out there, but not for the quality of work we do,” said builder Aaron Rigozzi. “You can hire people and they say they can do this or that, but they really can’t.”